HPV vaccine will be applied in a single dose in SUS

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This week, the Ministry of Health announced new strategies to immunize the population against the human papillomavirus (HPV). From now on, children and adolescents, aged 9 to 14, can receive a single dose of the HPV vaccine, through the Unified Health System (SUS).



Photo: nearxiii/Freepik / Canaltech

Reducing the number of doses of the HPV vaccine has numerous benefits, including the possibility of increasing vaccination coverage against Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) — it is worth noting that the HPV virus increases the risk of several cancers, including colon cancer of uterus. So, the idea is that young people are vaccinated before their first sexual intercourse.

Who can get the HPV vaccine?

As the Technical Note from the Ministry of Health points out, the guidance on a single dose of the HPV vaccine is valid for those between 9 and 14 years old. Depending on stocks in the region, young people up to 19 years old, not yet vaccinated, may receive the vaccine at SUS.

For other groups in adulthood, the HPV vaccine continues to be indicated in more doses (almost always 3). These are cases of immunocompromised patients (such as people living with HIV) or with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (PPR), as well as victims of sexual violence.

Single dose of HPV vaccine

The decision to apply the HPV vaccine in a single dose is based on studies by the World Health Organization (WHO), where it was demonstrated that the strategy is capable of protecting individuals from cervical cancer, for example. In total, 37 countries already adopt this simplified scheme.

According to the WHO, three different vaccination schedules can be adopted, depending on the person’s age:

  • Single dose: people up to 20 years old;
  • Two doses: people aged 21 or over;
  • Three doses: people with compromised immune systems.

Doses applied in SUS

With the new guidance, the expectation of Brazilian health authorities is to expand vaccination coverage. From 2022 to 2023, the number of doses administered rose from 4 million to 6.1 million, which represents an increase of 42%.

Despite the positive trend, coverage is still low among Brazilians. “Vaccination coverage for girls with the first dose reaches 76%, however, for the second dose it does not reach 60%. In relation to boys, coverage with the first dose is 42% and the second dose is 27%”, details the technical note.




Ministry of Health recommends a single dose of the HPV vaccine to increase vaccination coverage in adolescents (Image: YuriArcursPeopleimages/Envato)

Photo: Canaltech

Importance of the HPV virus vaccine

Although the main focus with HPV vaccination is to reduce cases of cervical cancer, the vaccine also has benefits for boys. After all, the infection increases the risk of different types of cancer throughout life, such as penile cancer — every year, almost 500 men have their penis amputated because of this tumor. It also reduces the risk of cancer of the mouth, oropharynx, anus and vulva.

Additionally, the pathogen can cause anogenital warts. Although they are benign from an oncological point of view, “they cause serious clinical and psychological impairment in affected individuals”, states the text.

Source: Ministry of Health

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: HPV vaccine applied single dose SUS

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