Quadrivalent vaccine maintained for HPV vaccination programme
3rd May 2016
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, HPV Action and the Terrence Higgins Trust have welcomed the news that the multi-purpose quadrivalent vaccine will be maintained for the universal girls’ human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme.
The quadrivalent vaccine offers additional protection against the strains of the HPV virus responsible for genital warts, as well as protection against cancers associated with HPV. The decision to maintain the vaccine means a further generation of girls will not be exposed to an increased risk of HPV-related disease and poorer sexual health outcomes.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended in November 2015 that the HPV vaccination programme should be extended to include men who have sex with men (MSM), subject to cost-effective procurement of the vaccine and delivery of the programme.
The decision to maintain the multi-purpose quadrivalent vaccine for the girls’ HPV vaccination programme means that the vaccine should now be available for MSM at a cost-effective price.
MSM already experience poorer sexual health outcomes in the UK compared to others and at present remain the only group left completely unprotected from the current HPV vaccination programme.
We therefore call upon the Government to ensure that the JCVI’s recommended HPV vaccination programme for MSM is implemented throughout the UK without delay. We also believe HPV vaccination should be offered to all adolescents, regardless of gender, at the earliest opportunity.