A human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign that aims to immunize over 1.8 million 14-year-old girls in nine regions against HPV is underway. The campaign commenced on 10 January 2022 and will end on 22 January.
Vaccines were administered in schools and health facilities for two cohorts. More than 866,000 14-year-old girls took the first dose of the vaccine while 970,000 took the second dose, having received the first dose in January 2021. Two doses of HPV vaccine are required for full protection against the human papillomavirus which causes cervical cancer.
HPV vaccines, vaccination cards and tally sheets were distributed to the implementing regions by the Ethiopian Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency (EPSA). The Ministry of Health and regional health bureaus have been leading sensitization, social mobilization and communication efforts for the campaign in collaboration with immunization partners.
Prior to the campaign, sensitization workshops were conducted for media professionals, representatives from the education sector, teachers’ associations, immunization partners and public relations officers of health bureaus. Toll-free health hotline call center staff were also oriented on the vaccine to be able to accurately respond to queries. TV spots are being broadcast on national TV, messages are broadcast in regional media outlets and through posters and flyers.
The HPV vaccine was introduced in Ethiopia in December 2018 targeting 14-year-old girls. The Ethiopian Ministry of Health has been leading the vaccine rollout and conduct of the vaccination in collaboration with regional health bureaus and the education sector, key stakeholders, and immunization partners such as WHO and UNICEF. WHO Ethiopia has deployed its central and field staff to support the implementation of the vaccination through direct technical support, supervision and monitoring.
Vaccines for the campaign were acquired and rolled out with support from GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.