Cervical cancer vaccination: 70 to 80% coverage achieved

by Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Epidemiology Unit yesterday said there was a 70 to 80 per cent vaccination coverage in administering the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV) vaccine against cervical cancer in 2017.

Consultant Epidemiologist,  Dr. Deepa Gamage. said yesterday that although the HPV vaccine was launched in July last year, the Health Ministry had been able to get the programme officially underway only by late October to administer the HPV vaccine to the girl child in Grade 6.

Dr. Gamage said that vaccination of Grade Six female students had coincided with the commencement of the new school term this year. The Epidemiology Unit had found that there was high demand and commitment in some districts like Hambantota, where there was 100 percent vaccination coverage had been achied and in Polonnaruwa it was 95 per cent.

The vaccine had to be administered in two doses. The second dose had to be given with a minimum time gap of six months after the first, she said.

The Consultant Epidemiologist said that unlike other vaccines against communicable diseases the HPV was meant to control a non communicable disease. Cervical Cancer resulted from HPV infection during adult years. The vaccine would develop immunity against the virus, Dr. Gamage said.

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