From next September, a different vaccine will be used in the HPV vaccination programme, the Department of Health has announced today
Following a competitive tendering exercise, Gardasil, supplied by Sanofi Pasteur MSD, will be the vaccine used in the next school year.
Gardasil protects against the two types of HPV virus that cause more than 70 per cent of cervical cancer in England and two types of HPV virus that cause 90 per cent of genital warts.
The HPV programme was implemented in September 2008 following advice from the independent experts on Immunisation. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended that the HPV vaccine should be offered routinely to females aged 12 to 13 years, and we also offered a catch-up programme for girls up to 18 years of age. Since then, 1.5 million young women and girls have been protected.
Professor David Salisbury, the Government’s Director of Immunisation, said:
“From next September, Gardasil will be the vaccine that we offer to girls to protect them against the HPV infection. It’s not unusual for the NHS to change vaccines or other medicines – it can happen following competitive tendering exercises or when new research findings come to light.
“Young women and girls who have already been vaccinated or who are due to be vaccinated before September, do not need to be vaccinated again. They have done exactly the right thing and they can be assured that they are protected against types of HPV virus that cause over 70 per cent of cervical cancer.
“We have one of the best HPV vaccination programmes in the world and we want that success to continue. It will be tremendous to see rates of cervical cancer falling. The number of women getting abnormal results from HPV screening will also fall. Many women will no longer have to live through the worry and stress of follow-up after screening, including treatment for precancerous lesions.”