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Cervical cancer: Gavi to support Nigeria with 22.3m HPV vaccine doses

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has committed to providing 22.3 million doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to Nigeria between this year and 2025. Emily…

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has committed to providing 22.3 million doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to Nigeria between this year and 2025.

Emily Kobayashi, Head of HPV Programme, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, made the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen in Abuja.

The federal government last week introduced the HPV vaccine into its routine immunisation programme for vaccination of girls between the ages of nine and 14 years to protect them against cervical cancer.

Kobayashi said Gavi committed to providing eight million doses of the vaccine in 2023,  11 million doses in 2024 and 3.3 million doses in 2025.

She said the organisation will also be providing more doses each year and after that through a co-financing agreement with the government.

She said Gavi was also supporting the federal government with campaigns for the first phase of the vaccination programme in 15 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and second phase in the remaining 21 states.

She further explained that the HPV vaccine introduction is not about a one-time campaign, but about building a  whole generation of immune and protected adults.

Kobayashi said the vaccine was first introduced in higher-income countries in 2006 and has been introduced in over 125 countries around the world since then.

She said, “Where it has been introduced, we have seen extremely strong effectiveness in reducing HPV-associated illnesses and deaths, including deaths from cervical cancer.

Eduardo Celades, Chief of Health, UNICEF Nigeria said the vaccine was before now mostly available in the private sector, adding that with the launch of the vaccine in the country, it would be available free of change in public health facilities.

He called for strategies to sustain the HPV vaccination, especially reaching millions of girls out of school.

He said the vaccine protects young girls against cervical cancer and also offers an entry point for the protection of their general health.

 

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