Australia has shown a strong commitment to the free distribution of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and may be about to become the first country in the world to successfully eradicate a type of cancer.
The virus in question, which is sexually transmissible, is considered to be primarily responsible for cervical cancer and is estimated to account for 99.9 percent of the world’s cases.
The Australian Government decided in 2007 to market to distribute the vaccine free of charge to all girls between the ages of 12 and 13, and in 2013 extended the measure to include boys of the same age and still available to any child of higher age to this but under the age of nineteen, two free doses of the vaccine.
It is estimated that between 2005 and 2015, the percentage of women in the country between the ages of 18 and 24 years infected with HPV fell from an alarming 22.7% to a mere 1.1%, and the Ministry of Health country believes that between 2015 and the current year these values are so low that it can practically be considered that future generations are protected against this virus.
Unlike the strategy in Australia and some other countries in which the vaccine is provided free of charge with very promising results, in the USA the HPV vaccine is not provided free of charge, representing a cost per patient of about $ 450 for the vaccine. complete prevention treatment, although in most cases there is financial support available for the acquisition of the same.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2016, 78.6 percent of 15-year-old Australian girls and 72.9 percent of boys of similar age had already been vaccinated, compared to a scant 50 percent for girls between the ages of 13 and 17, and 38% for boys in the United States of America.
In underdeveloped countries, the situation is much worse, with an estimated two thirds of the world’s female population may not have access to the virus vaccine, and unless some attitude is taken, it will continue to be a major cause of cancer in developing countries.
Although the free supply in schools of this vaccine may represent a high burden for countries, it is certainly quite efficient as demonstrated by the Australian government.