Study quantifies increase in cervical cancer cases and deaths due to HPV vaccine coverage drop

  • Simms KT & al.
  • Lancet Public Health
  • 10 Feb 2020

  • curated by Priscilla Lynch
  • Univadis
Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals. Access to the full content of this site is available only to registered healthcare professionals.

The drastic drop in HPV vaccination rates in Japan since 2013 could result in an additional 25,000 cervical cancer cases and more than 5,000 additional deaths among females born there between 1994 to 2007, according to a new mathematical modelling study in the Lancet Public Health.

After proactive Japanese government recommendations for HPV vaccination were suspended in 2013 following unconfirmed reports of adverse events, later found to be unrelated to vaccination, coverage fell from more than 70% (2013) to under 1% (February 2020).

By using Japanese epidemiological data on HPV prevalence, screening coverage, and cervical cancer incidence and mortality, researchers estimated that an additional 25,000 cervical cancer cases and more than 5,000 additional deaths among females born between 1994 to 2007 could occur compared to if HPV vaccine coverage had remained at 70%.

If coverage of less than 1% were to continue, around 60,000 preventable cases and 10,000 preventable deaths due to cervical cancer could occur in Japan over the next 50 years, researchers estimated.

However, they also found that if 70% coverage could be restored in 12 year olds in 2020, along with 50% catch-up coverage in girls 13-20 years, using the second-generation HPV 9 vaccine, 70-80% of these cases and deaths could be prevented.