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Global Health
August 16, 2016

Disparities in HPV Vaccination Programs Worldwide

JAMA. 2016;316(7):702. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.10893

Vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV) varies according to the income level of countries, with HPV immunization programs in low- and middle-income countries being practically nonexistent, despite the fact that most new cervical cancer cases and deaths occur in these countries, report researchers from Spain and France (Bruni L et al. Lancet Glob Health. 2016;4[7]:e453-e463).

Human papillomavirus vaccines were licensed in 2006, and since that time have been introduced in many countries, mainly for girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years. To identify publicly funded HPV immunization programs worldwide, the authors systematically reviewed the literature and official web-based data from 2006 to 2014. They found that 64 countries and 12 overseas territories implemented nation or territory-wide HPV immunization programs, while 4 countries implemented HPV vaccination in only parts of the country.. Although they estimated that 118 million women had received at least 1 dose of the HPV vaccine through these programs, only 1% were from low-income countries.