Brazil: Ministry of Health extends HPV vaccination for men and women up to 26 years
To strengthen the campaign to eradicate cervical cancer, the government has appealed to the state sectors of Education (SEE) and Health (SESACRE) to expand vaccination against HPV. Adolescents and, men and women, aged 15 to 26, may also receive the HPV vaccine from the Unified Health System (SUS). The initiative will be for municipalities that still have vaccines in stock, with a validity period until September 2017. With the end of stocks to expire, the aim of the Ministry of Health (MOH) is that the vaccine continues to be administered only to the target audience (nine to 15 years). According to the MOH, the initiative, aims to avoid a possible waste of doses that remain in the stocks of municipalities. The MOH has annually carried out publicity campaigns in the media about the importance of the HPV vaccine and supplied several educational materials for this purpose. Despite all these efforts, vaccine coverage remains below the target of 80%. This is because vaccination in adolescence has many difficulties, such as the resistance of this age group to seek a health unit, especially to get vaccinated and the low knowledge about the importance of vaccination. The measure is temporary and was recently approved in Brasília (DF), during the meeting of the CIT (Tripartite Interagency Committee), composed of representatives of the federal government, states and municipalities.
For the age group of 15 to 26 years, the orientation of the Ministry of Health is the vaccination schedule with three doses, with interval of zero, two and six months. People who take the first dose in this period, exceptionally, will have the two subsequent doses guaranteed in the SUS. Double dose vaccination against HPV in boys prevents diseases and helps immunize girls. The ministry points out that it receives vaccines and medicines with a maximum of six months of manufacturing and that, from the national stock, no lot has maturity for this year. The routine use of this vaccine in the target population, which is for boys in the age group of 11 to 13 years and girls of nine to 14 years, must be maintained with two doses, being applied with interval of six months between them.
The HPV vaccine Quadrivalent is safe, effective and is the main form of prevention against the appearance of cancer of the cervix, fourth largest cause of death among the women in Brazil. In men, it protects against cancers of the penis, oropharynx and anus. In addition, it prevents more than 98% of genital warts, stigmatizing disease and difficult to treat. Transplant recipients of solid organs, bone marrow or cancer patients from nine to 26 years of age are also part of the targeted population. The services that serve this population must offer the HPV vaccine in the work routine. As per the MOH, from the beginning of the vaccination, in 2014, until June of this year, 18 million doses were given to the female population of the whole country. In the age group of nine to 15 years, in the same period, 10.7 million girls were immunized with the first dose, which corresponds to 74.7% of the total Brazilian population in this age group. They received the complete two-dose vaccination schedule recommended by the Ministry of Health, 7.1 million girls, which corresponds to 47% of the target population. Regarding boys, from January to June of this year, 853,920 adolescents aged 12 to 13 years were vaccinated with the first dose of the HPV vaccine, which corresponds to 23.6% of the 3.61 million boys in this age group.