Gavi supports HPV vaccines for national introduction and demonstration programmes
Immunisation coupled with screening and treatment is the best strategy to rapidly reduce the burden of cervical cancer. However, historically the high cost of the vaccine and challenges of reaching adolescent girls to deliver immunisation have been barriers to introduction in poorer countries.
Gavi is working to bridge the equity gap by providing the vaccine at affordable and sustainable prices, and to support countries with demonstration programmes to build capacity and test different approaches to deliver the vaccine to adolescent girls.
WHO recommends that countries use delivery strategies that are compatible with their health delivery infrastructure and cold-chain capacity; are affordable, cost-effective and sustainable; and achieve the highest possible coverage.
Priority should be given to strategies that include populations who are less likely to have access to screening for cervical cancer later in life. Opportunities to link vaccine delivery to other health programmes targeting adolescent girls should also be explored.
Gavi’s commitment to protecting women against cervical cancer supports the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy on Women’s and Children’s Health to address key global health priorities by increasing access to life-saving vaccines.
Two types of support
Gavi provides support for HPV demonstration programmes and the national introduction of HPV vaccines. The type of support provided by Gavi depends on a country’s demonstrated ability to deliver vaccines to young adolescent girls.
Countries that have demonstrated that they are able to deliver HPV vaccine to young adolescent girls1 may apply for Gavi support for the national introduction of HPV vaccines.
Countries lacking experience can apply for support to conduct smaller-scale demonstration programmes to gain the experience necessary to apply for national roll-out.
Gavi is partnering with cancer societies, reproductive health and women’s organisations to help countries deliver HPV vaccines cost-effectively and assess opportunities for integrated delivery with other important interventions for girls. These include adolescent reproductive health, HIV prevention, nutrition, family planning and safe motherhood.
Initial experience in offering HPV vaccination in Africa and Asia has been encouraging. Lessons learnt documents are available through the Reproductive Health Outlook Cervical Cancer library.
WHO, the Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention, the Cervical Cancer Action coalition and the UNFPA have called for comprehensive cervical cancer prevention plans that include both vaccination of young girls and screening and treatment of women.
Many organisations are actively involved with clinical and operational research, policy analysis and advocacy related to HPV vaccine. Collaborating partners and their main roles include:
World Health Organization (WHO) offers technical information, standards and guidelines and in country planning and training;
PATH supports operational research to inform decisions about how to introduce HPV vaccines;
UNICEF provides a market informational note for HPV vaccines, highlighting current and projected demand, as well as anticipated supply availability during 2014–2017, brings expertise in social mobilisation and demand generation;
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) brings expertise in reproductive health and identification of population estimates for adolescent girls;
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) carries out epidemiological studies assessing HPV type-specific prevalence among various populations;
The Cervical Cancer Action coalition furthers advocacy and education;
Alliance for Cervical Cancer Prevention provides news, resources, advocacy and information;
Vaccine manufacturers and academia conduct clinical research;
Gavi offers financial support for the introduction of vaccines into the routine immunisation system in eligible countries.