Cervical Cancer Vaccination Success

Cervical Cancer Vaccination Success
24 January 2024
A Public Health Scotland (PHS) study, co-authored with IBMS Vice President Allan Wilson, shows huge benefit of HPV immunisation

published an exciting new study in the Journal of National Cancer Institute with the University of Edinburgh and University of Strathclyde that shows that, in the 16 years since the programme started in Scotland, no cervical cancer cases have been detected in fully vaccinated women following Human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation at age 12-13.

The HPV vaccine is offered as a routine immunisation through school-based programmes to all S1 pupils in Scotland. It helps to protect both boys and girls from other HPV-related cancers later in life, such as head, neck and anogenital cancers as well as genital warts.

This year’s HPV immunisation programme is already underway, with consent forms having been sent home from schools across most of Scotland. Young people are encouraged to talk to their parents or carers about the vaccine and return the signed consent forms by the deadline.

The HPV immunisation programme started in 2008 in Scotland and a full timeline can be seen above. The currently used vaccine is given on a one dose schedule and protects against nine HPV types responsible for 87% of cervical cancer cases.

There was significant coverage on the HPV paper including BBCSTV, The Times, The Herald, The Scotsman, The Metro, The Daily Mail, Press and Journal, The Courier and Orkney News.

Allan Wilson commented: 

During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, it is important to contribute to a study and healthcare pathway that shows the overwhelmingly positive impact HPV vaccination has had on the Scottish population, particularly young women.

We have already saved so many from cancer and must continue to do so. Despite these promising results, it is vital that eligible individuals should still attend for regular screening. 

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