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High uptake of Gardasil vaccine among 9 - 12-year-old schoolgirls participating in an HPV vaccination demonstration project in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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      Abstract

      BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is linked to infection of the cervix by oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) subtypes. The quadrivalent Gardasil vaccine (against HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18), recommended in girls 9 - 12 years of age, has been shown to be safe, immunogenic and efficacious, with minimal or no side-effects. AIM: To demonstrate the capacity of school health teams to carry out vaccinations within a school environment. OBJECTIVES: To assess the uptake of 3 doses of the vaccine, document lessons learnt and provide recommendations for a national rollout of school-based HPV vaccination for learners. METHODS: Female learners (age 9 - 12 years) from 31 primary schools in Nongoma and Ceza districts (KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa) were identified for inclusion in the vaccination programme. The 3 doses of vaccine were administered by existing school health teams. Education and training sessions were held with all stakeholders: provincial departments of health and education; school health teams; primary healthcare nurses; hospital doctors and nurses; private practitioners; school principals, teachers and governing bodies; parents; and community and traditional leaders. RESULTS: The overall uptake of the vaccine was found to be high: 99.7%, 97.9% and 97.8% for the first, second and third doses respectively ( N=963). No adverse events were attributed to the HPV vaccine. CONCLUSION: This project demonstrated the successful implementation of HPV vaccination among learners (ages 9 - 12 years) using school health teams.

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      Projected clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of a human papillomavirus 16/18 vaccine.

      Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may be commercially available in a few years. We explored the clinical benefits and cost-effectiveness of introducing an HPV16/18 vaccine in a population with an organized cervical cancer screening program. A computer-based model of the natural history of HPV and cervical cancer was used to project cancer incidence and mortality, life expectancy (adjusted and unadjusted for quality of life), lifetime costs, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (i.e., the additional cost of a strategy divided by its additional clinical benefit compared with the next most expensive strategy) associated with different cancer prevention policies, including vaccination (initiated at age 12 years), cytologic screening (initiated at 18, 21, 25, 30, or 35 years), and combined vaccination and screening strategies. We assumed that vaccination was 90% effective in reducing the risk of persistent HPV16/18 infections and evaluated alternative assumptions about vaccine efficacy, waning immunity, and risk of replacement with non-16/18 HPV types. Our model showed that the most effective strategy with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of less than 60 dollars-000 per quality-adjusted life year is one combining vaccination at age 12 years with triennial conventional cytologic screening beginning at age 25 years, compared with the next best strategy of vaccination and cytologic screening every 5 years beginning at age 21 years. This triennial strategy would reduce the absolute lifetime risk of cervical cancer by 94% compared with no intervention. These results were sensitive to alternative assumptions about the underlying patterns of cervical cancer screening, duration of vaccine efficacy, and natural history of HPV infection in older women. Our model predicts that a vaccine that prevents persistent HPV16/18 infection will reduce the incidence of HPV16/18-associated cervical cancer, even in a setting of cytologic screening. A program of vaccination that permits a later age of screening initiation and a less frequent screening interval is likely to be a cost-effective use of health care resources.
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        Human papillomavirus vaccine delivery strategies that achieved high coverage in low- and middle-income countries.

        To assess human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage after demonstration projects conducted in India, Peru, Uganda and Viet Nam by PATH and national governments and to explore the reasons for vaccine acceptance or refusal. Vaccines were delivered through schools or health centres or in combination with other health interventions, and either monthly or through campaigns at fixed time points. Using a two-stage cluster sample design, the authors selected households in demonstration project areas and interviewed over 7000 parents or guardians of adolescent girls to assess coverage and acceptability. They defined full vaccination as the receipt of all three vaccine doses and used an open-ended question to explore acceptability. Vaccination coverage in school-based programmes was 82.6% (95% confidence interval, CI: 79.3-85.6) in Peru, 88.9% (95% CI: 84.7-92.4) in 2009 in Uganda and 96.1% (95% CI: 93.0-97.8) in 2009 in Viet Nam. In India, a campaign approach achieved 77.2% (95% CI: 72.4-81.6) to 87.8% (95% CI: 84.3-91.3) coverage, whereas monthly delivery achieved 68.4% (95% CI: 63.4-73.4) to 83.3% (95% CI: 79.3-87.3) coverage. More than two thirds of respondents gave as reasons for accepting the HPV vaccine that: (i) it protects against cervical cancer; (ii) it prevents disease, or (iii) vaccines are good. Refusal was more often driven by programmatic considerations (e.g. school absenteeism) than by opposition to the vaccine. High coverage with HPV vaccine among young adolescent girls was achieved through various delivery strategies in the developing countries studied. Reinforcing positive motivators for vaccine acceptance is likely to facilitate uptake.
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          The potential cost-effectiveness of adding a human papillomavirus vaccine to the cervical cancer screening programme in South Africa.

          This study was designed to answer the question of whether a cervical cancer prevention programme that incorporates a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is potentially more cost-effective than the current strategy of screening alone in South Africa. We developed a static Markov state transition model to describe the screening and management of cervical cancer within the South African context. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of adding HPV vaccination to the screening programme ranged from US $1078 to 1460 per quality-adjusted life year (QALY) gained and US$3320-4495 per life year saved, mainly depending on whether the study was viewed from a health service or a societal perspective. Using discounted costs and benefits, the threshold analysis indicated that a vaccine price reduction of 60% or more would make the vaccine plus screening strategy more cost-effective than the screening only approach. To address the issue of affordability and cost-effectiveness, the pharmaceutical companies need to make a commitment to price reductions.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ] Inyuvesi YaKwaZulu-Natali South Africa
            [2 ] Provincial Department of Health South Africa
            [3 ] University of Cape Town South Africa
            Contributors
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Role: ND
            Journal
            samj
            SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
            SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j.
            Health and Medical Publishing Group (Cape Town )
            2078-5135
            May 2013
            : 103
            : 5
            : 313-317
            S0256-95742013000500022

            http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Product
            Product Information: SciELO South Africa
            Categories
            Health Care Sciences & Services
            Health Policy & Services
            Medical Ethics
            Medicine, General & Internal
            Medicine, Legal
            Medicine, Research & Experimental

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