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In August 2012, Colombia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare introduced the human papillomavirus (HPV)vaccine into its national immunization schedule in order to significantly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer. Following an analysis of the current evidence available and a cost-effectiveness study of HPV vaccines, the MoH’s National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG), along with the Colombian Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the Colombian Society of Paediatrics, the Colombian Federation of Perinatology, the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Oncology, agreed to recommend including the HPV vaccine in its national immunization schedule.

The introduction of the vaccine will occur in two phases. The first phase took place in August 2012, for girls inpublic and private schools, who are in fourth grade and are nine years of age or older at the time of vaccination.The second phase will begin in February 2013, for girls not attending school in urban and rural areas (populated and difficult access areas). The planning should take into account the demographic, geographic and cultural needs of each locality to implement strategies that guarantee compliance with the three-dose schedule.
 
The integrated approach to the use of the HPV vaccine (primary prevention), in addition to screenings for early detection of preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the cervix (secondary prevention), will significantly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in Colombia, in the coming decades.
 
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, September 2012.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 11:52

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