Free HPV vaccines offered to students in Jiangsu

2023-04-06 09:38:11China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

More than 240,000 female students in Jiangsu province will receive free HPV shots this year to prevent cervical cancers, the vast majority of which have been confirmed to be caused by human papillomavirus.

The province will spend 172 million yuan ($26 million) this year to ensure funding for the vaccination program, according to the provincial health commission.

In 2020, the World Health Assembly passed a resolution calling for the elimination of cervical cancer, and China became one of the 194 countries that resolved to end the disease.

The World Health Organization in 2017 said that HPV infection is related to about 4.5 percent of new cancer cases worldwide, while 99.7 percent of cervical cancers are associated with it.

In China alone, more than 60,000 deaths and 110,000 new cervical cancer patients were linked with the infection in 2020, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

HPV vaccination has proved to be the most effective method to prevent cervical cancer and to make it the first cancer that can be prevented.

In 2021, the National Health Commission chose 15 pilot cities and 15 candidate pilot cities to promote cervical cancer prevention and control measures.

Some regions have made early progress by launching free trial programs for school girls, such as Chongqing, Shaanxi province and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region.

In 2022, four cities in Jiangsu — Nanjing, Wuxi, Lianyungang and Yangzhou — took the lead in giving free HPV vaccines to middle school girls, with 64,000 students receiving the vaccine free.

In Nanjing, school girls can choose free domestic HPV vaccines or pay to get imported vaccines. Girls who choose to take the imported 2-valent, 4-valent and 9-valent vaccines can receive discounts of up to 492 yuan, according to the Nanjing Health Commission.

According to the Nanjing Maternity and Child Health Care Hospital, the 2-valent vaccine can prevent about 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, while the 9-valent can prevent about 92 percent.

After receiving three doses of the 4-valent vaccine, girls can also choose to take the 9-valent one after a 12-month period, according to the hospital.

"Promoting HPV vaccination requires joint efforts from the government, school, parents and all of society," said Cui Xiaomeng, deputy director of the health commission from Nanjing's Jianye district.

"Besides girls, we also encourage mothers to make appointments for HPV vaccination and free screenings for cervical and breast cancer," she said.


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