04 June 2020

GAVI Global Vaccine Summit – HPV vaccinations essential to eliminating cervical cancer

Ahead of the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June, five HPV vaccine manufacturers have committed to provide sufficient HPV doses for 84 million girls, helping to keep cervical cancer elimination a priority amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement that vaccine manufacturers MSD, GSK, Innovax, Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd. and Walvax have pledged to increase HPV vaccine supply for GAVI-eligible countries came the day before the Global Vaccine Summit in London on Thursday 4 June. GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance held its quinquennial replenishment pledging conference, uniting world leaders and other actors in a funding drive that raised USD8.817bn, to enable continuation of the GAVI mission to support immunisation programmes in low- and middle-income countries with predictable financing. 

HPV vaccination prevents infection with the human papillomavirus virus that causes cervical cancer – one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Indeed, the World Health Organization has set the ambition of eliminating cervical cancer globally, with three interim targets to be achieved by 2030. Achieving 90% coverage of girls vaccinated by age 15 in all countries is a critical contribution to achieving this goal. 

With the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown measures and social distancing guidelines affecting nearly every country, HPV vaccination programmes have largely been put on hold. 

“Both financial and vaccine supply commitments are crucial, first to restarting HPV vaccination programmes as essential services early in the covid-19 recovery process and second for new introductions in countries for which GAVI support is critical for implementing this key pillar of national elimination strategies. These pledges are fantastic and show that despite current challenges, accelerating actions towards the elimination of cervical cancer remains a priority on the global health agenda.”
–    Julie Torode, Director of Special Projects, UICC

GAVI estimates that with these new commitments up to 84 million currently unprotected girls will now benefit from HPV vaccinations over the next five years. The organisation’s efforts more widely support the affordability and implementation of vaccine programmes and strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries, where cervical cancer ranks as  either the number one or number two cancer-related death for women and where 90% of the global deaths from cervical cancer are concentrated. Overall, these efforts should help avert 1.4 million future cervical cancer deaths.

Last update

Tuesday 08 June 2021

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