Prevention – Screening
European Immunisation Week : HPV vaccination
World Health Organization - European Immunisation Week - 23-29 April 2023 - HPV vaccination
To mark European Immunisation Week, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs is keen this year to focus on the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.
HPV is the leading cause of cervical cancer, which is responsible for more than half a million cases worldwide, and 340,000 deaths in 2020. It is important to note that cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, while HPV is also a significant cause of oropharyngeal and anal cancer in men.
The virus is transmitted during sexual intercourse, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and is the most common sexually transmitted infection in men.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is aiming to improve access to HPV screening, particularly for women aged over 30, every 3–5 years, and to eliminate cervical cancer through vaccination.
WHO currently recognises four vaccinations, specifically targeting HPV types 16 and 18, which are together responsible for more than 50% of cervical cancers. Scientific data has demonstrated a reduction of more than 86% in infections in young women aged 14–19 years, and more than 71% in those aged 20 years. No significant side effects have ever been reported.
It is therefore recommended that girls be vaccinated between the aged of 9 and 14 years, preferably before their first sexual encounter. Boys can also benefit from being vaccinated to prevent the associated cancers.
HPV vaccination is covered by health insurance if prescribed by your doctor in accordance with the marketing authorisation.
Vaccinations can be given by your doctor.
Your doctor can also advise on the procedures for vaccination or for catching up on missed vaccinations, and discuss other recommended vaccinations with you.