Ministry of Health adopts new HPV vaccination strategy; understand

Ministry of Health adopts new HPV vaccination strategy; understand
Ministry of Health adopts new HPV vaccination strategy; understand

The Minister of Health Nisia Trindade used social media on Monday night, the 1st, to announce that the vaccine against papillomavirus (HPV)effective in preventing cervical cancer, will be offered in Single dose for the target audience, the girls and boys aged 9 to 14. Second technical note from the ministry, the new strategy will replace the two applications of the scheme in force until then and was based on updated scientific evidence that the vaccinated population will be protected against the virus.

This year, the free offer of the vaccine by the Unified Health System (SUS) completes ten years, but the adherence was high only in the first year of vaccination because of attacks and fake news. Last year, more than 6.1 million doses of the vaccine against the virus were administered, a number that, according to the ministry, is the highest since 2018 (5.1 million) and represents an increase of 42% compared to 2022 ( 4 million).

“Now, we have more vaccines to protect our population against the risks caused by this virus. Using only one dose of vaccine was a decision based on scientific studies, as recommended by the World Health Organization,” said Nísia.

Studies carried out over the last ten years in Costa Rica, India, Kenya and Tanzania have shown that efficacy with just one dose was between 82.1% and 97.5%.

The ministry reported that 37 countries already adopt the single dose and the goal of the folder is increase vaccination coverage against infectionwhich is also responsible for tumors of the mouth, throat, vagina, penis and anus.

Also according to the technical note, states and municipalities must actively search to immunize young people up to 19 years old who did not receive the vaccine within the recommended age group.

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“Brazil has joined the global strategy to eliminate cervical cancer and the idea is, with one dose, to have a greater number of people vaccinated”, explains Flávia Bravo, director of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm).

She warns, however, that vaccination coverage needs to be high and other actions must be taken for the measure to be successful. “It’s a strategy that doesn’t just encompass vaccination. It is necessary to have 90% of girls up to 15 years of age vaccinated, 70% of women to be monitored using more effective screening, such as the molecular test that was incorporated in Brazil, and 90% of diagnosed women must be properly treated.”

New test for HPV

Last month, a more accurate test for detecting HPV was incorporated into the SUS. The technology allows the virus to be tracked early, up to ten years in advance, allowing patients to receive adequate monitoring and treatments to avoid more serious conditions.

The test is based on DNA and uses molecular biology analysis by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to detect, in an automated way, the virus infection and also points out the risk of progression to cancer in patients with a uterus.

HPV and cancer

Caused by sexual infection with types of HPV with the potential to trigger tumor cells, cervical cancer, also called cervical cancer, is the third most common cancer among women. It is also the fourth type of tumor that kills the most people with a uterus, especially those living in socially vulnerable situations, black people and those with low levels of education. In patients living with HIV, the possibility of developing tumors is up to five times greater.

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Around the world, around 570,000 new cases and 311,000 deaths are recorded per year. In Brazil, the National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimates that 17 thousand diagnoses are made every year and approximately 7 thousand deaths are recorded.

HPV vaccination

In addition to periodic examinations, the The main way to prevent virus infections is through vaccination. In the SUS, the doses are available free of charge for children and adolescents aged 9 to 14, cancer patients, victims of sexual violence aged 9 to 45 and immunosuppressed people, such as those living with HIV or AIDS and solid organ or bone marrow transplant recipients.

The quadrivalent vaccine offered on the public network protects against types 6, 11, 16 and 18, related to episodes of genital warts and malignant lesions. In the private network, a nonavalent version has been available in Brazilian clinics since last year.

The article is in Portuguese

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