MOPH Enlists HPV Vaccine in List of Approved Vaccines in Qatar

The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has introduced the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, among the list of approved vaccines in the State of Qatar, as an optional vaccine.

The introduction of the vaccine comes within the framework of the Ministry of Public Health’s strategy to protect community members from cervical cancer.

Dr. Hamad Eid Al Rumaihi, director of the Health Protection & Communicable Diseases Division, MOPH, said: “The introduction of the HPV vaccine in the list of approved vaccines comes as part of the Ministry of Public Health continuous effort to prevent and reduce the burden of communicable/vaccine-preventable diseases in the state of Qatar. In line with this, MOPH continuously updates its recommendations and introduces new vaccines.” Dr. Hamad Al Rumaihi added that the HPV vaccine is recommended by The World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the use of the HPV vaccine, as it is used in 125 countries over the world in their national immunization programs, noting that the new vaccine has the potential to prevent the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) related cancers and other conditions.

Dr. Mona Al Maslmany, director of CDC Hospital, HMC, said: ” HPV infections do not usually cause any symptoms which in the majority of cases leads to delay in diagnosis. The vaccines protect individuals only from specific strains of HPV and the most effective way to prevent HPV infection is to get all the recommended shots at the specified age.” Dr. Samya Al Abdulla, Executive Director of Operations, PHCC, said: “Considering the disastrous psychological, social, and economic burden of cancer and the quality of life of both individuals and families, it is a priority to make all possible efforts to prevent it, whenever possible. Fortunately, there is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent HPV-related cancers We have added HPV vaccination to our routine preventive services in primary health care centers. We encourage all target populations – or their parents – to ensure that they receive the HPV vaccine and thus protect themselves, and their children.” Dr. Soha Albayat, Head of Vaccination Section, MOPH, said: ” The HPV vaccine in Qatar, can protect against 9 types of HPV which account for around 95% of cervical cancer causes and around 90% of warts. Thus, using the HPV vaccine helps protect girls and boys against several types of cancer and warts caused by this virus. The primary target of the HPV vaccine is girls and boys aged 11-26 years. For the age group 11-14 years, the vaccine will be given in a two doses series and for teens and young adults, 15-26 years, it will be given in three doses.

High-risk groups up to 45 years old may also benefit from the vaccine. However, the HPV vaccine works best when received at younger ages than it is in older age groups. The vaccine will be provided free of charge in all PHCC centers and CDC hospital.” She added that a training workshop will be organized on Saturday, May 20, to introduce to the health sector cadres about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, and how to maximize its benefit in preventing HPV infection, as well as all the details related to obtaining the vaccine for the target groups.

Dr. Afaf Al Ansary, senior Consultant at Women’s Hospital, HMC, said: “Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a group of viruses, and the “high risk” types of them are associated with the development of many cancers, including cervical cancer, cancers of the head, neck, and oropharynx, as well as with warts and respiratory papillomatosis. High-risk HPV types are highly associated mainly with cervical cancers. Many people will get HPV infection throughout their life which in most cases resolve spontaneously. However, some of the infections with the high-risk types may persist over time, leading to cancers. HPV cannot be treated, but with the HPV vaccine it could be prevented.” The HPV vaccine has been used in many countries of the world for several years and its safety and effectiveness are monitored by several global organizations, including the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Evidence has shown that the vaccine is safe and effective. Parents can also speak to doctors to discuss the need to vaccinate their children with the HPV vaccine. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency