March 1, 2021

✪ National implementation of HPV vaccination programs in low-resource countries: Lessons, challenges, and future prospects


Vivien D. Tsu, D. Scott LaMontagne, Phionah Atuhebwe, Paul N. Bloem, Cathy Ndiaye

University of Washington affiliated authors are displayed in bold.

✪ Open Access

Published: March 2021

Read the full text open access in the journal Preventive Medicine


More than 90% of cervical cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), which have limited capacity to mount the comprehensive national screening and precancer treatment programs that could prevent most of these deaths. The development of vaccines against the human papillomavirus (HPV) has dramatically altered the landscape of cervical cancer prevention. As of mid-2020, 56 LMICs (41% of all LMICs) have initiated national HPV vaccination programs. This paper reviews the experience of LMICs that have introduced HPV vaccine into their national programs, key lessons learned, HPV vaccination sustainability and scale-up challenges, and future mitigation measures.

As international guidance evolved and countries accumulated experience, strategies for national introduction shifted with regard to target groups, delivery site and timing, preparation and planning, communications and social mobilization, and ultimately monitoring, supervision and evaluation. Despite the successes that LMICs have been able to achieve in reaching large proportions of eligible girls, there are still considerable challenges countries encounter in overcoming rumors, reaching out-of-school girls, completing the vaccine series, estimating target populations, monitoring program performance, and assuring vaccination sustainability. New opportunities, such as the entry of additional vaccine manufacturers and ongoing studies to evaluate one-dose delivery, could help overcome the outstanding barriers to higher coverage and financial sustainability. Effective use of the experience to date and advances on the horizon could enable all LMICs to move towards the coverage levels that are needed to achieve eventual elimination.

**This abstract is posted with permission under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License**