GGD Utrecht kicks off catch-up vaccination campaign against HPV
The GGD health region of Utrecht kicked off the catch-up vaccination campaign against HPV on Monday. The campaign targets young adults who missed out on an HPV vaccine before boys were added to the national vaccination program last year, RTV Utrecht reports.
HPV is a very common virus that can cause several types of cancer. The vaccine against the virus has been offered to girls in the National Immunization Program since 2010. Boys were added to the program recently. About 80 percent of people come into contact with the virus. Ten to 20 percent of people who contracted HPV get sick. The virus is transmitted through sexual contact.
“It is a virus that can cause cervical cancer, but also other forms of cancer: penile cancer, anus cancer, vaginal cancer. Of course, we want to prevent that. Hundreds of people die from it every year,” Putri Hintaran, an infectious disease doctor at the GGD Utrecht, said to the broadcaster. “This is a kind of catch-up round for those who missed [the vaccine] previously or to whom it had not yet been offered.”
The current HPV vaccination campaign focuses on everyone born between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2003. That is about 1.3 million young people. Invites will go out to men for the first time and also to women who did not yet get the (full) vaccination after previous invitations. “During the once-off catch-up campaign in 2023, this group will be given the opportunity to get vaccinated free of charge,” the GGD said.