Location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Dates: 30-31 October 2012 Participants: Nineteen participants representing six countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, and Panama), the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the World Health Organization (WHO) and PAHO.
Purpose: The workshop objectives were to share national and subnational experiences in the introduction and implementation of HPV vaccine; identify strengths and weaknesses of managerial, oper-ational and logistical processes specific to immunization pro-grammes; establish the integration level with cervical cancer pre-vention and adolescent health programmes and existing opportuni-ties; and define lessons learned for other countries in the Region considering HPV vaccine introduction.
Details: Five countries in Latin America universally introduced the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine between 2008 and October 2012, and several subnational experiences also exist. A workshop to systematize the experiences of these early adopters was held on 30–31 October 2012 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. This workshop was the first orga-nized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) exclusively on HPV vaccine since May 2009. After standardized presentations from each country, participants contributed to three working groups that debated 1) vaccination strategies and tactics, 2) data collection and estimation of HPV vaccination coverage, and 3) the inte-gration of HPV vaccination with cervical cancer prevention and control programmes and health programmes for young people (including communication with adolescents, parents and community). Details from the country presentations and the conclusions of the working groups will be published shortly. Prelimi-nary conclusions include that all countries practically use a combination of delivery strategies to reach adolescents; the transition toward nominal immunization registries (often in an electronic format) observed in several countries of the Region is beneficial for HPV vaccine coverage estimation; and that integration of HPV vaccination to other health programme activities is mainly limited to conjoint communication initiatives.
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, November 2012.