Commentary: Guidance for global public health practitioners on key developments related to HPV vaccination programs

The WHO recommends all countries include the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in their national immunization program and many low- and middle-income countries are moving to introduce HPV vaccine into their national immunization programs. However, despite support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for vaccine introduction and immunization programs in low-income countries, it will take tremendous efforts on the countries’ part to carry out effective large-scale HPV vaccine introduction programs targeted towards adolescent girls. To improve coverage, equity, and sustainability, public health officials and practitioners should refer to lessons learned from countries with experience planning and implementing HPV vaccination programs.

To that end, Mary Carol Jennings, an Assistant Scientist at the International Vaccine Access Center, with Anagha Loharikar of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have summarized key developments in a new Commentary from Global Health: Science and Practice, including:

  • Successful school-based delivery strategies. Evidence has shown that school-based delivery models are highly effective in achieving high coverage for girls in schools. However, health officials will also need to account for out-of-school youths who have poor access to health services and screening.
  • Best practices for communication and social mobilization. Before any vaccine introduction activities, education stakeholders and well-trained media spokespersons need to be involved in program planning and communications to ensure full understanding and consent from vaccine recipients.
  • Integrating services to reduce delivery cost. By investing in delivering necessary vaccines and health services to adolescents on a national basis, countries can attain great economic returns and social benefits.
  • What can be done to further drive down costs. Authors also advocate for policy makers, donors, and global partners to continue to consider ways to drive down costs of vaccine procurement.

Read the open-source Commentary in Global Health: Science and Practice here: