Vaccine coverage of human papillomavirus exceeds 90% in the Algarve region, the Algarve Regional Health Service (ARS) today said, welcoming the "good adherence" of girls and their families.
The currently achieved vaccination coverage rates are about 90% for the first dose and 80% to 85% for the second dose.
On celebrating the 10th anniversary of the incorporation of HPV vaccination into the National Vaccine Program, signed by the Health Directorate General on 5 November and attended by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the project developed by health professionals over the last ten years, has been highlighted and praised "without which these results could not be achieved."
Human papillomavirus vaccination, which is responsible for one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide, started in October 2008 with three doses for girls aged 13 years.
The vaccine is specifically designed to prevent precancerous lesions and cervical cancer as well as vulva, vagina and anus. It also prevents genital warts associated with the genotypes contained in the vaccine.
Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women, and in nearly 100% of cases it is associated with a previous papilloma virus infection.
A national vaccination campaign for girls born in 1992, 1993 and 1994 started at the same time in January 2009 and was vaccinated in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The vaccine used was a four-dose vaccine (HPV4), which provided protection against four serotypes of the virus, two of which are more closely related to cervical cancer.
In 2014, the HPV vaccine has been proposed under the National Vaccination Program (PNV) in girls aged 10 to 13 years and in a two-dose regimen.
However, technological developments allowed the marketing of a non-invasive HPV vaccine (HPV9), which provided protection against nine serotypes of the virus, which increased the protection of about 90% of the types of human papilloma virus associated with its cervix uterus and other malignant cancers.
The HPV9 vaccine was introduced into PNV in 2017 for delivery to ten-year-old girls in order to optimize their degree of protection.
Vaccination against human papillomavirus and regular control of cervical cancer in all women allows for early prevention and intervention in the development of cervical cancer.
750,000 girls were vaccinated in Portugal for the last ten years, with Portugal among the best performing vaccine against human papillomavirus, according to ARS.