Ministry of Health reschedules second HPV vaccination

Ministry of Health says it has rescheduled the human papilloma virus (HPV) second dose vaccination from July 2019 to January 2020 due to logistical issues and change of proposed strategy.

A health worker administers the vaccine to a young girl during the launch -Pic. By Kondwani Magombo

In a circular to its stakeholders issued on Wednesday, Ministry of Health Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) programme manager Temwa Mzengeza said after a thorough assessment of strategies, the National Task Force (NTF) committee for HPV introduction has made the recommendation.

She said: “The EPI sub-Technical Working Group (TWG) in its last meeting proposed that the provision of HPV second dose should start in the third week of July, using a routine immunisation system by vaccinating in health facilities and outreach clinics to ensure sustainability of the services.”

Mzengeza observed that the school-based approach that was proposed earlier proved costly, as it requires over K300 million for allowances of vaccinators and teachers.

She said:”The HPV vaccination will be conducted once every year for both first and second doses. Girls that already received a dose will be receiving a second dose while others will be receiving the first dose during the same period.”

World Health Organisation recommends that HPV vaccine should be given in two doses at a minimum interval of six months.

However, the second dose can be given up to a maximum of 12 to 15 months after the first dose.

Locally, the Ministry of Health introduced the vaccine in January 2019 and the second dose of HPV was scheduled for July.

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