Delivery of the HPV Vaccine and Flu Vaccine Prioritisation This Winter: JCVI Statement

Priscilla Lynch 

July 21, 2020

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has released a statement to acknowledge that the 2019-2020 HPV vaccination programme has been disrupted due to COVID-19 and that the priority now is for all eligible children to receive at least the first dose of the HPV vaccine.

As part of its considerations on the effectiveness of a single dose of HPV vaccine, and to advise a potential future move to one dose schedules, the committee last week discussed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the delivery of the routine HPV vaccination programme to adolescents, due to the closure of schools during 'lockdown'.

Taking into account the evidence considered on the immunogenicity and durability of one dose of HPV vaccine and the continuing pandemic, the committee advises that the priority for the delivery of the routine HPV immunisation programme is for all eligible children to receive at least the first dose of the HPV vaccine. This includes prioritising the catch up of those who failed to get the first dose due to school closures.

The JCVI considers that the interval between the first and second dose can be extended by a number of years without compromising protection or the boosting effect of the second dose. "Evidence strongly indicates that one dose of HPV vaccine will provide protection in the short to medium term."

The JCVI issued a statement in April on the importance of maintaining immunisation services to reduce the risk of vaccine-preventable disease.

During this time, immunisation services remain under pressure to maintain vaccinations, and the JCVI said it recognises that resources are stretched. “There is the potential for further interruption or delays in delivering the HPV and other immunisation programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Delivering the flu programme this autumn will be a priority.”

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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