UK HPV vaccination programme
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the name given to a common group of sexually transmitted viruses. Introduced in 2008 for girls aged 12 to 13, and extended to boys in 2019, the UK’s HPV immunisation programme aims to reduce morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer and other cancers caused by HPV by routinely offering vaccines to Year 8 schoolchildren. A study published in The Lancet in 2021, and funded by Cancer Research UK, discovered an 87 per cent reduction in cervical cancer since the introduction of the vaccination programme. In women born since 1 September 1995, the HPV immunisation programme has almost eliminated cervical cancer, the study reported.
“Assuming that most people continue to get the HPV vaccine and go for screening, cervical cancer will become a rare disease.” – Peter Sasieni, professor of cancer prevention and academic director of the clinical trials unit, King’s College London