The use of HPV vaccines in Estonia is scant

Authors: Katrin Kiisk, Ott Laius

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The number of new cervical cancer cases in Estonia is 160 per year, mostly diagnosed in people aged 35-54. Cervical cancer is highly preventable with regular screening tests, followup and vaccination. HPV vaccination is recommended for ages 9-13, with catch-up vaccination until age 26.

Although two HPV vaccines are available in Estonia, it is not certain whether the HPV vaccine target age group has been met. The analysis deals with their consumption among different age groups based on data from the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, Health Board and State Agency of Medicines.

The consumption of HPV vaccines increased rapidly after their introduction and has remained relatively unchanged during the last four years. About 3,200 doses of the vaccine are sold every year and main prescribers are general practitioners (47%) and gynaecologists (53%). Approximately 1100-1200 persons receive a complete course of the vaccine every year. Most of them (79%) are adults. Of the vaccinated persons 97% are women. Vaccine coverage in the first tärget group (9-13 years) is only 10% of the vaccinated population; in the second, catch-up group (14-26 years), the corresponding estimate is 57%. Vaccination coverage of the total population regarding the first tärget group (~30, 000 girls aged 9-13) is around 0.01%. There have been some problems with compliance: 20% of prescribed vaccines were not dispensed.

The use of HPV vaccines in Estonia has been scant so far. Based on the analysed data, the main target group has been met insufficiently.