Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals

WHO welcomes new record low price for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines

10 May 2013

WHO welcomes GAVI’s announcement on a new record low price for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines – a major step forward in helping protect millions of girls in developing countries against cervical cancer. Providing the vaccine is a key tool for the comprehensive approach towards the prevention, control and treatment of cervical cancer as outlined in WHO’s recently released guidance note.

The HPV vaccine price reduction will enable the poorest countries ― home to most of the 275 000 women who die of cervical cancer each year ― to access a sustainable supply of HPV vaccines which, through GAVI, will cost as little as US$ 4.50 per dose. It represents a landmark in efforts to provide much needed preventive care to adolescents. The introduction of HPV vaccine is a critical development for low-income countries. Not only does it contribute to reducing the burden of cervical cancer, it also creates a new opportunity to routinely deliver messages on health services and health promotion to adolescents (ages between 9 and 13 years) , offering an entry point to delivering preventive health care to girls and adolescents.

A number of countries will benefit immediately from the new prices. WHO is working with partners to ensure that more girls in more countries have access to these vaccines ― particularly those in countries that are not eligible for GAVI funding and do not benefit from the vaccine price reduction. Recently, WHO convened partners to discuss innovative financing modalities for countries that are not eligible for GAVI funding to afford the commodities and put in place the mechanisms to deliver the life-saving interventions.

One of WHO’s crucial inputs to scale up access to HPV vaccine has been to provide countries with evidence-based guidance on how best to introduce the vaccines. To deliver HPV vaccines, countries need to ensure they have sufficient resources, both human and financial, to enable the health system to get the commodity to those who need it.

Working with other members of the GAVI Alliance, WHO country and regional staff provide extensive support in the areas of immunization, adolescent and reproductive health and cancer prevention amongst others for increasing country capacity, knowledge, and planning for immunization activities, new vaccine introductions, and the integration of immunization and preventive interventions as part of comprehensive approaches to public health.

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