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The refunded HPV vaccine protects against cancer, cervical cancer

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Every day ten Polish women learn that they have cervical cancer. Often the cause of the tumor turns out to be HPV, the papillomavirus. From November 1, a refundable HPV vaccine is available. Until now, it was also possible to vaccinate, but the preparations were expensive and therefore accessible to a few. Reimbursement is a chance to fight cancer – the vaccine is primarily for teenagers, but not only. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

– My mother once said that if there was a possibility of vaccination, the possibility of getting rid of this virus from my body, she would definitely do it – says Ida Karpińska, the president of the National Flower of Femininity Organization. This is the voice of a woman who once heard the diagnosis: cervical cancer, which is a cancer caused by HPV – the human papillomavirus.



There has been a vaccine for this for several years, but its availability in Poland left a lot to be desired. – Until now, it was possible to vaccinate only privately, and in addition, local governments have taken local initiatives to vaccinate girls – points out Ida Karpińska.

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– There were no such vaccines in Poland for a long time. They were not physically available and were not reimbursed either. At the moment, they have returned to pharmacies for several months, and additionally, from November 1, the vaccine has been reimbursed, emphasizes Professor Anita Chudecka-Głaz from the Polish Society of Oncological Gynecology.

This vaccine is Cervarix and protects against two types of HPV that are highly oncogenic. After reimbursement, you have to pay PLN 138 for one dose. Teenagers up to 15 years of age should get two doses. Older one more. – This group between the ages of 9 and 15 is the target group, because that’s when we talk about primary prevention – explains doctor Alicja Halbersztadt, obstetrician-gynecologist.

HPV also affects boys and men

The idea is to get boys and girls vaccinated before they become sexually active. – HPV infections are among the most frequently sexually transmitted infectious diseases – says the pediatrician, Dr. hab. Ewelina Gowin. It can also have serious consequences for men. – Penile cancers, cancers of the anus area, but also indirectly HPV viruses contribute to the occurrence of head and neck cancers – he adds.

Gynecological officeShutterstock

– In Australia, entire populations of boys and girls are vaccinated and the effects are that, according to their information, there will be no HPV virus there by 2026 – emphasizes Ida Karpińska.

The effectiveness and validity of vaccinations is only confirmed by recent studies published in the British medical journal “The Lancet”. They found that Cervarix given to teenagers reduced the risk of developing cervical cancer by as much as 87 percent. – It is rarely possible to obtain such an effective form of prophylaxis in oncology – admits professor Anita Chudecka-Głaz.

Every day ten women in Poland find out that they have cervical cancer

The HPV vaccine saves lives. In Poland, however, it is not obligatory and widely available. Last year, the health ministry assured that it was working to include HPV vaccinations in compulsory vaccinations.

Today, vaccine reimbursement is a step in the right direction, but there are still no legislative provisions that would allow the health ministry to buy vaccines on a massive scale. Ida Karpińska admits that there is no information campaign on this subject. – I invite all persons responsible for reimbursement to cooperate with the Flower of Femininity. We are very eager to join such an educational campaign – he assures.

Every day ten women in Poland find out that they have cervical cancer. Even half of them die. The only effective tools that can change these statistics are vaccination and regular examinations – especially pap smears.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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