Low HPV Vaccine Adherence Increases Risk of Womb, Bowel and Laryngeal Cancer, Warns Infectious Diseases Specialist at Unicamp | Campinas and Region

The alert comes from the infectious disease doctor of Unicamp, Raquel Stucchi, and highlights the importance of HPV vaccination for girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14 – a time when the body is producing more antibodies for the future. March is HPV Awareness Month, and low vaccination coverage is worrying town halls in the region’s largest cities. Campinas (SP).

in the metropolisthe most recent data published by the municipal health department indicate a total target audience of 90,000 boys and girls who need protection. However, less than 10% of 11-13 year olds received the doses in 2020 and 2019.

The scenario repeats itself in American (SP), which identified less than 13% of those vaccinated last year; is on Hortolandia (SP), with just over 12% of boys and girls vaccinated in 2021.

indaiatuba (SP) shows greater uptake, reaching 59%, but still leaving thousands of children and adolescents unprotected. See more details on each city below.

“Usually for all vaccines, children and young people have a much more vigorous, much more robust defense system, which responds better in the quantity of antibodies, in the quality of antibodies and the duration of protection is longer when one the fact in children”, he explained to the infectiologist.

Two doses of the vaccine are needed – six months apart – when the audience is indicated by the Department of Health – ages 9 to 14 for girls and 11 to 14 for boys. When applied after that range, three doses are needed, Raquel said. The immunizing agent is provided free of charge at public health offices.

The HPV vaccine must be applied to girls from the age of 9 — Photo: Janaína Pepeu

Almost 90% effective against cancer

In November last year, a British study published in the scientific journal “The Lancet” underlined positive results on immunization and protection in cases of cancer according to the age of vaccinated persons.

Raquel detailed, in the interview with g1, that the protection indicated by the research leaves the level of reduction of cervical cancer risk from 34% in women aged 16 to 18 to 87% in vaccinees aged 12 and 13.

“When they were vaccinated between 14 and 16 years old, the reduction was 62% and the precancerous lesions 75%. And when children and adolescents were vaccinated between the ages of 12 and 13, the reduction in cancer cases was 87%, and precancerous lesions, 97%,” he explained.

“The younger we are vaccinated against cancer, on the one hand, there is less chance that girls have been exposed to HPV, and on the other hand, the response of the immune system, of defense at this age, and in our case between 9 and 14, is higher than later, between 15 and 18, or after 18,” he added.

The logic follows that of the other vaccines proposed for the age group of babies, such as hepatitis B for example, specifies the doctor.

“It is extremely important that families, parents, guardians get children vaccinated against HPV so that they reach adulthood already protected against this virus, which is a major cause of cervical cancer. uterus, a serious disease associated with high mortality.”

Unicamp infectious disease specialist Raquel Stucchi has warned of cancer risks in people not vaccinated against HPV — Photo: Reproduction/EPTV

The metropolis has 53,000 girls and 37,000 boys in the age group for vaccination against the papilloma virus. The lowest membership is in the 11-13 age group, less than 10%, and only exceeds 50% at the age of 9, according to the latest data from the prefecture, from 2020 and 2019.

Among the public awareness actions, Health indicated that there are strategies to expand the offer in health centers, through an active search for the target population, in addition to orientation actions in schools. and other partner institutions.

“Compared to the rate of vaccinated, the Ministry of Health specifies that it is below expectations. Vaccination coverage of the HPV vaccine, as well as others from the National Immunization Program (PNI), has been declining for some years. are planned for the coming months, with a view to expanding this index,” he said in a note.

Between 2020 and 2021, the Ministry of Health of American saw a further decline in HPV vaccine coverage. The indices ranged from 17% to 20%, and rose to around 13%.

2020
Boys 11-14 years old: 17.47% (1221 doses applied)
Girls 9-14 years old: 19.68% (1,376 doses applied)

2021
Boys 11-14 years old: 12.22% (854 doses applied)
Girls 9-14 years old: 12.34% (1,191 doses applied)

“Epidemiological surveillance has reported that there is no HPV vaccination campaign, unless determined by the state or federal government from time to time,” the town hall said.

The city has 17,382 people in the HPV vaccinated age group, and the vaccination rate has also dropped over the past year.

2020
1st dose: 2,915
2nd dose: 2,401
Vaccination coverage: 13.81%

2021
1st dose: 2,588
2nd dose: 2,194
Vaccination coverage: 12.62%

Unlike other big cities, indaiatuba registered 59% of the target audience immunized against the human papillomavirus in 2020, according to the most recent data communicated by the Municipal Health Directorate.

This Saturday, the town hall organized an action to encourage the vaccination of children and adolescents against the disease. The population aged 9 to 14 is approximately 18,317.

“Even with all the efforts to publicize and expand this coverage, we sense great resistance from parents and guardians, and other myths related to the HPV vaccine,” Saúde warned.

“Vaccination against the HPV virus is important for girls because it prevents against cancer of the cervix, gynecological and vulvar and for boys because it prevents against cancer of the penis. Both vaccinated sexes also have protection against cancer of the rectum, throat, larynx, pharynx, tongue, among others in the oral region,” he added.

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