Latest articles about HPV       Routine vaccines: HPV

Gavi’s impact

Since the inception of Gavi’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme in 2012, 3.9 million girls have been protected against the leading cause of cervical cancer, and demand for HPV vaccine has never been higher

Record Demand

In 2016, the Gavi Board approved an acceleration of the HPV vaccine programme, allowing countries in the first year of their programme to scale up directly and vaccinate multi-age cohorts of girls in the age range 9–14 years. Through this new strategy, Gavi aimed to protect around 40 million girls from cervical cancer by 2020, averting an estimated 900,000 deaths. However, due to surging global demand and vaccine supply shortages, the scope of this goal has been reduced to reaching an estimated 14 million girls and averting 300,000 deaths.

The uptake of the HPV programme since inception has been encouraging, with 27 countries approved for Gavi support – of which 18 have successfully introduced HPV vaccine into their national immunisation programme. These countries include those with the highest burden of cervical cancer in the world such as Malawi, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Record low price

In 2011, a record low price for HPV vaccines created an opportunity for low-income countries to vaccinate millions of girls against the leading cause of cervical cancer. Thanks to the Vaccine Alliance, the lowest-income countries now have access to HPV vaccines for as little as US$ 4.50 per dose. The same vaccines can cost more than US$ 100 in high-income countries, and the previous lowest public sector price was US$ 13 per dose. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) decision to switch from a recommended schedule of three doses to two doses helps to facilitate country roll-outs and reduce costs.

Gavi/2019/Solomon Islands

Gavi’s response

Historically, the high cost of the vaccine and challenges of reaching adolescent girls to deliver immunisation have been barriers to introduction in low-income countries. Gavi is working to bridge the equity gap by providing support for HPV vaccine and ensuring sustainable prices.

Gavi supports HPV vaccines for national introduction, with immunisation of multi-age cohorts of girls in the age range 9–14 years. However, due to ongoing supply constraints, countries have had to adapt their programmatic strategy by vaccinating a single cohort to introduce and the remaining multi-age cohort when supply is available.

WHO recommends that countries use HPV delivery strategies that are compatible with their health systems infrastructure and cold-chain capacity; are affordable, cost-effective and sustainable; and achieve the highest possible coverage. The highest priority should be given to vaccination 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 interventions targeting adolescent girls should also be explored.

Support

In 2016, the Gavi Board approved two main changes in the HPV programme, following a recommendation by the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization.

First, countries can now apply directly for Gavi support to fund national introductions rather than starting with a demonstration programme. Countries also have the option of a phased introduction.

Second, countries can opt to vaccinate multiple age groups – between 9 and 14 years – in the first year of their programme, depending on supply availability.

Partnerships

Gavi works with cancer groups, as well as reproductive health and women’s organisations, to help countries deliver HPV vaccines cost-effectively. These partnerships also identify opportunities to integrate HPV vaccination with other health interventions for girls. These include adolescent reproductive health, HIV prevention, nutrition, family planning and safe motherhood. Where feasible, they have also helped to push through comprehensive cervical cancer prevention plans which include vaccination of young girls and screening and treatment of women.

Partners

Many organisations are actively involved with clinical and operational research, policy analysis and advocacy related to HPV vaccine. Gavi’s collaborating partners include but are not limited to:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
  • Girl Effect
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  • Jhpiego
  • JSI
  • PATH
  • SEWA
  • UNICEF
  • Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • vaccine manufacturers and academia
  • WHO

The issue 

Globally, one woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in Gavi-supported countries.

Globally, one woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in Gavi-supported countries.

Resources

20 December 2017

Human papillomavirus vaccine roadmap: public summary (2017)

Gavi opened a funding window for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in 2012. The public summary of the HPV vaccine roadmap gives an overview of the market dynamics for this vaccine.

28 May 2021

Modular Summary of Lessons Learned from National HPV Vaccine Introduction in Zimbabwe, Senegal and Tanzania

This document presents successes, challenges and considerations from an evaluation of HPV vaccine introduction in three early-introducing, Gavi-eligible countries. Experiences presented here may inform decision-making and planning around delivery strategies, dosing schedules, target population/cohort selection, communication/social mobilization and budgeting/financing.

Latest articles about HPV

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How story-telling is helping girls access the HPV vaccine in Ethiopia and Tanzania

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11 October 2022

“A pivotal moment”: Sierra Leone makes HPV vaccine available to girls across country

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27 September 2022

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8 August 2022

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31 May 2022

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12 May 2022

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26 April 2022

School-based targeting increases HPV vaccination rates

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12 April 2022

WHO says just one dose of HPV vaccine protects against cervical cancer

Cervical cancer kills one woman every two minutes, but the need for two or three doses is a major reason why vaccine uptake has been slow – this finding should mean many more lives are saved through HPV vaccination.

11 March 2022

Kenya’s HPV vaccine strategies re-activated for COVID-19

Strategies to ensure effective HPV vaccinations in Kenya have been modified to boost rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

28 February 2022

Routine vaccines, extraordinary impact: HPV

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4 February 2022

Fighting cervical cancer in Lao PDR

In 2021, led by the Lao Women’s Union, Laos made a commitment to combat HPV.

16 December 2021

Kenya on a drive to tackle cervical cancer

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8 November 2021

HPV vaccine cuts cervical cancer cases by nearly 90%

Real world data from the UK shows the value of vaccinating girls against human papilloma virus (HPV) when they are 12 to 13 years of age.

20 August 2021

How to eliminate cervical cancer - an expert explains

COVID-19 has caused a decline in the delivery of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines that protect girls from cervical cancer. Anuradha Gupta, the Deputy CEO of Gavi, explains what we must do to create more access to these vaccines.

15 February 2021

All roads lead to Ocean: how cancer treatment works in Tanzania

In Tanzania, the Ocean Road Cancer Institute is doing its part to ensure that people across the country can receive cancer treatment and care, regardless of their ability to pay.

5 February 2021

Eliminating cervical cancer depends on global effort to ensure supply meets demand

Global access to HPV vaccine is vital, particularly in lower-income countries. Lessons learned from HPV roll-out could boost uptake of COVID-19 vaccines.

4 February 2021

Can the world ever be cervical cancer-free?

As World Cancer Day approaches amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,  it’s now more important than ever to ensure continued access to HPV vaccines to eliminate cervical cancer around the world.

29 January 2021

How much of an impact do vaccines really have?

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22 January 2021

The public health impact of a single-dose HPV vaccination schedule

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15 December 2020

Getting girls on board with the HPV vaccine

New girl-centered toolkit helps health officials develop and implement communications campaigns that resonate with girls in their countries.

28 October 2020

Myanmar celebrates the launch of the HPV vaccine

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27 October 2020

Simplifying the vaccine cost equation

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23 October 2020

Immunization Is the Best Weapon Against Poverty

Anti-vaxxers’ irresponsible misinformation ignores those with the most to lose by not vaccinating: the poorest and most vulnerable, who risk dying or sliding into medical impoverishment if they or their loved ones get sick. For much of the world’…

21 October 2020

HPV Vaccine Lowers Risk of Cervical Cancer Up to 88%

New research found a direct link between the human papillomavirus vaccine and a lowered risk of developing cervical cancer, with vaccinating children before the age of 17 having the greatest impact.

23 September 2020

Leaders in the fight against infectious diseases

Snapshots from DRC, India and Zambia illustrate country ownership and progress in the fights against Ebola, polio and HPV.

21 September 2020

Rwanda: Changing perceptions

When I was 12, I received the HPV vaccine just like most girls my age in Rwanda. The day after we got the first dose, my classmates started spreading rumours about the vaccine that they had heard from their families and communities.

15 September 2020

Malawi: Reaching girls earlier

In Malawi, primary school drop-out rates are among the highest in Africa. To try and guarantee high coverage, the HPV vaccine is administered to 9-years-old girls.

7 September 2020

Ethiopia Reaching girls at scale

Helping rural and urban girls across Ethiopia understand cervical cancer and HPV.

28 July 2020

Gavi has helped lower-income nations narrow the vaccine coverage gap

Lower-income countries are seeing better vaccination coverage than they have had in decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening to hamper progress.

20 May 2020

Rwanda’s efforts to strengthen its health system paying off in midst of COVID-19 pandemic

The country has made strategic investments including supply chain strengthening and technological innovation, all of which have allowed critical immunisation activities to continue during and beyond the quarantine.

30 April 2020

World Immunization Week: Eradicating cervical cancer through HPV vaccination

UICC’s Director of Special Projects, Dr Julie Torode, highlights the importance of continuing to push forward with the global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer despite the current coronavirus pandemic.

The growing burden of cervical cancer 

Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer, which claims the lives of 311,000 women each year, mainly in low-income countries.

Without changes in prevention and control, cervical cancer deaths are forecast to rise to 416,000 by 2035.

Immunisation against HPV infection, coupled with screening and treatment, is the best strategy to reduce rapidly the burden of cervical cancer. In low-income countries where women often lack access to cancer screening and treatment services, immunising girls before exposure to HPV is critical.  

Safe and effective HPV vaccines can prevent up to 90% of all cervical cancer cases. 

Surging demand 

The year 2018 saw a significant supply shortage of HPV vaccine, which is forecast to continue in the short- to medium-term. This is because of the unprecedented uptake of HPV support in Gavi-eligible countries, combined with increased global demand for HPV vaccines from higher-income countries.

Alliance partners have been working with manufacturers in order to increase manufacturing capacity to meet worldwide demand, as well as working with countries to help them adapt programmatic strategies. 

External links

How to apply for vaccine support

May 6, 2021

Gavi Support Guidelines

Eligible countries can access detailed guidelines to manage the support they receive from Gavi.

Last updated: 31 Aug 2022

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