HPV Vaccination of Girl Child in India: Intervention for Primary Prevention of Cervical Cancer

Document Type: Editorials

Authors

1 Pink Chain Campaign, Delhi, India.

2 Department of Preventive Oncology, Dr BR Ambedkar Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India.

Abstract

Over the past 40 years mortality from carcinoma of the cervix has fallen due to improved treatment and the
introduction of national screening programs. Awareness and health-seeking practices have been shown to be poor in
many developing countries, necessitating the need for proper awareness and vaccination program The HPV vaccination
is of public health importance. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Immunization (IAPCOI) recommends
offering HPV vaccine to all females who can afford the vaccine. Vaccination can be given to females as young as
9 years as well as in those aged 13–26 years who have not previously completed vaccination. The primary obstacle
to HPV vaccination is financial. There are bivalent, Quadrivalent and Nonavalent HPV vaccines available based on
protection against number of HPV subtypes. HPV vaccination and regular cervical screening is the most effective way
to prevent cervical cancer. Parents/caregivers of child must be educated regarding HPV vaccination before offering this
chemoprophylaxis against cervical cancer. Gaps and barriers to the access and delivery of HPV vaccination need to be
identified, so that scientific and public health communities and civil society can be mobilised to adopt the vaccination
policy.