Following the publication of research in the BMJ, on 03 April 2019, indicating that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations in Scotland have reduced the prevalence of precancerous cervical cells at age 20, by 89%, compared to women who had not received the vaccination,
James Mather, MChem, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on future expansion of HPV immunization program:
“Currently HPV vaccinations are recommended for all girls aged over 11 years across most of Europe and North America. There has been growing calls to expand the HPV vaccination program to include boys of the same age. The logistical challenges of implementing broader HPV vaccinations are relatively minor since, in the UK at least, school programs for the vaccine could accommodate all students similarly to other adolescent vaccines.
“HPV is also a key risk factor in the onset of other cancers which affect both men and women, such as anal or throat cancer. Therefore the expansion of HPV vaccinations to this population could potentially reduce the prevalence of further cancer types and also reduces the risk of transmission of HPV, since it is a sexually transmitted infection.
“Physicians interviewed by GlobalData have expressed their frustration in the slow progress being made towards HPV vaccines for boys, as it is would provide benefits for the men as well as further reducing the incidence of HPV infections in women. Expansion of the program has been shown through research to be highly cost-effective, combined with this research demonstrating the clinical benefits; there is no reason why HPV vaccination program should not be expanded to cover all adolescents.”