During European Vaccination Week, Monaco’s Department of Social Affairs and of Health is emphasising the importance of vaccination against papillomavirus (HPV).

HPV is the leading cause of uterine cancer, responsible for more than half million cases worldwide, and 340,000 deaths in 2020. Cancer of the cervix is the fourth most common cancer in women, while the papillomavirus is an important cause of oropharyngeal and anal cancer in humans.

The transmission of this virus takes place during sexual intercourse, whether straight or homosexuals, and is the most common sexually transmitted infection in humans.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) aims to improve access to screening for papillomavirus, especially in women over 30, every three to five years, but also to eliminate cervical cancer through vaccination.

There are currently four vaccines recognised by the WHO, in particular against types 16 and 18 of papillomaviruses, which alone cause more than 50 percent of cervical cancers. Data scientists have measured a decrease of more than 86 percent in infections in young women between 14-19 years old, and more than 71 percent among those aged 20. No major side effects have been reported.

It is therefore recommended to vaccinate young girls between nine and 14 years of age, preferably before first sexual intercourse. Young boys can also benefit from it, in order to prevent associated cancers.

Vaccination against the papillomavirus is covered by Health Insurance if it is prescribed by your doctor in compliance with the marketing authorisation. Vaccinations can be made by your doctor. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the methods of vaccination or catch-up in the event of incomplete vaccination and check with you for other recommended vaccinations.

ORIGINAL SOURCE: Monaco Government Press Service FILE PHOTO: Reuters