HPV vaccine now available in all polyclinics of Barbados
HPV vaccine now available in all polyclinics of Barbados

Barbados: The Government and the Ministry of Health of Barbados have announced that the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine is now available in the country in a single-dose schedule. The vaccine will now be available in the medicinal stores of the country.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness (MHW) made this announcement following the conclusion presented by the SAGE Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. SAGE has stated that a single dose of the vaccine against HPV can be proved as a solid protection against the virus, which causes cervical cancer, which is comparable to the 2-dose schedules.

The meeting of SAGE ended in the month of April 2022, and it explained the evidence from an updated systematic review on the immunogenicity, efficacy and effectiveness of single-dose vaccination schedules compared to no-vaccination and multi-dose schedules.

According to the Health Ministry of Barbados, cervical cancer is the third most common cancer, which results in the death of women in the nation. The type of cancer results from persistent infection in the cervix with high-risk stresses of the HPV.

The HPV vaccine was introduced, in the country, in 2014 under the Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI). At that time, the target of the vaccine was children coming in the eleven-plus age range, as it is considered that the adolescent and young population is highly vulnerable to this infection.

The Health Ministry has stated that the vaccine is not mandatory but will be provided only after the consent of a parent. The ministry further outlined that the adoption of the new schedule of the vaccine will assist the associated authorities in the reduction of the cost of the HPV vaccine campaign, along with the decrease in the morbidity as well as mortality associated with the infection.

According to the ministry of health of Barbados, the vaccine against the virus will be administrated to the general public of the nation at ‘all’ polyclinics. It will also be accessed in some private healthcare sector clinics, paediatrics and general practitioners.