MOH Considering Adopting Single-Dose Strategy for HPV Vaccine

March 1, 2023

The Ministry of Health is considering adopting a single-dose strategy for the human papillomavirus vaccine among girls.

This will be rolled out after data driven advice from experts to ensure success.

If adopted, girls will be given only one dose of the HPV jab as opposed to the two as is currently the case

Mary Nyangasi, head of the National Cancer Control Programme said the vaccination rate among young girls.

“We are currently around 60 per cent vaccination for the first dose and data is coming in to show that even the first dose alone is sufficient,” said Mary Nyangasi, head of the National Cancer Control Programme at the Ministry said.

“There are still a lot of negotiations and discussions that will take place before we adopt a one dose strategy but for now we still wait for that guidance from the leadership,” she added.

Nelly Mugo  a researcher from the KEMRI Centre for Clinical Research said data from a trial conducted in the country has shown that one dose is enough the prevent women and girls from cervical cancer.

During the trial sexually active girls aged between 15 and 20 years vaccinated with one dose of the HPV vaccine with a follow up done at 18 months and five years.

“The girls who were vaccinated are the ones who did not initially have HPV, none of them got any of the HPV cancer,” Mugo said.

HPV vaccination was introduced in 2019 targeting 800,000 girls aged 10 years with two doses administered two months apart.

Currently, the uptake of the first HPV vaccine currently stands at 61 percent since it was rolled out in the country, while uptake of the second dose is at 31 per cent.

Data shows cervical cancer kills 3,209 women in Kenya, translating to nine women daily.

In addition the current screening coverage is 31 per cent against a 70 per cent target by 2030.

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