01.09.11

Vaccination against cervical cancer (HPV) starts in Iceland in September 2011

Sjá stærri mynd

Vaccination against HPV infections in Iceland starts during the latter half of September 2011. During the winter 2010/2011 girls born in 1998 and 1999 will be offered the vaccination but in the future 12-year old girls will be vaccinated annually. The vaccine Cervarix produced by GSK will be used and a complete vaccination includes three injections distributed over 6-12 months.

The vaccination will be carried out by the public health care service and will take place in schools for the most part. In the coming days information wil be sent to all parents/guardians of 12 and 13-year old girls while more detailed information on the vaccination (in Icelandic) is available at the web site of the Directorate of Health, www.landlaeknir.is .

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. In Iceland around 1700 women are diagnosed annually with precancerous cervical lesions and 14-17 women with cervical cancer. The mean age of women diagnosed with precancerous lesions is 30 years and that of women diagnosed with cancer is 45 years.

The vaccination is expected to prevent most infections that lead to cervical cancer. It is anticipated that a general vaccination will reduce the number of cervical cancers by 70% and prevent a large proportion of serious precancerous cervical lesions.

Because the time interval from an HPV infection to the development of cervical cancer is approximately 20-30 years, the beneficial effects of the vaccination will not be apparent for several years. Therefore, it is important that women continue to attend currently recommended cancer screening.

Letter to parents/guardians of girls in 7th and 8th grade

 

The Chief Epidemiologist for Iceland