1 million girls immunised against HPV with Gavi support
Coverage reported from demonstration programmes encouragingly high
Record low price for HPV vaccines
In October 2013, Lao PDR became the first Asian country to begin a HPV demonstration programme with GAVI support. The country also launched pneumococcal vaccine nationwide at the same time. Credit: Gavi/2013/Bart Verweij.
Kenya was the first country to carry out a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine demonstration programme with our support in 2013. Since then, Gavi-supported countries have vaccinated one million girls against HPV.
By the end of 2015, we had supported HPV vaccine demonstration programmes in 19 countries. These programmes are the first step towards national introductions. Two countries, Rwanda and Uganda, had added the vaccine to their national programmes by the end of the year.
We have also approved catalytic funding for 15 transitioning countries to introduce HPV vaccine. These countries were no longer eligible when we first started offering this support.
It has taken longer than expected for countries to switch from demonstration projects to national introductions. As a result, we have revised our HPV support. The new approach draws on the valuable lessons learnt from the demonstration projects. These include:
- School-based delivery works. Countries have achieved more than 80% coverage by providing HPV vaccine through schools. This is well above the 50% required to apply to Gavi for support for a national introduction.
- Integrate with routine immunisation. Delivery costs are lower when countries deliver the vaccine through clinics and outreach sessions as well as schools.
- Communication is essential. Raising awareness of how to prevent cervical cancer is critical to the success of HPV vaccination programmes.
- Deliver with other health programmes. Countries can integrate HPV vaccine delivery with other health interventions for adolescent girls.
- Multi stake-holder engagement is critical. Building political will at all levels is vital to the expansion of HPV programmes.
Thanks to a record-low price for HPV vaccines countries can vaccinate millions of girls against cervical cancer.
Gavi can now access a sustainable supply of HPV vaccine for the poorest countries for as little as US$ 4.50 per dose. The same vaccines can cost more than US$ 100 in high-income countries. The previous lowest public sector price was US$ 13 per dose.
WHO’s decision to change its recommendation from three doses to two makes it easier for countries to roll out the vaccine. It also helps to reduce costs.