Introduction Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in Thai women. Since HPV vaccination would be a complementary measure to the current cervical screening program, the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices in Thailand recommended HPV vaccination to school age girls. This study is the first report of school-based HPV vaccine introduction in Thailand which aimed to assess feasibility of including HPV vaccine into the national immunisation program.
Methods Two doses of bivalent HPV vaccine were given to 5th grade girls in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province at 0 and 6 months. To assess HPV vaccine acceptability, we interviewed public health staffs in 114 immunisation clinics, teachers in 93 primary schools and reviewed 1,736 parent consent forms. We surveyed 1,736 school girls to assess HPV vaccine coverage and established the Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFIs) Surveillance for HPV vaccine to monitor any AEFIs related to HPV vaccination. Cervical screening records were also explored to determine the effect of HPV program on the existing cervical screening program.
Results HPV vaccine acceptability among public health staffs, teachers and parents was 97.8%, 95.7% and 91.2%, respectively. The HPV vaccine coverage was 91.0% and 87.4% for the first and the second dose. There was no severe AEFIs reported, but most common AEFIs were “pain at injection site” (18.3%–22.0%), “fever” (2.1–2.6%), and “swelling and redness” (2.1%–2.5%). There was no evidence that declining number of cervical screening was due to HPV program and 91.7% of public health staffs thought HPV vaccination did not interfere cervical screening program performance.
Conclusion HPV vaccine introduction is well accepted and well integrated into the immunisation program. The vaccine is well tolerated and there is no evidence that the vaccination program had negative impact on the current cervical screening scheme.
Disclosure of interest statement This study was supported by the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health of Thailand. No pharmaceutical grants were received in the development of this study.
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