HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)

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What is HPV?


The HPV Vaccination Campaign: The Debate

The HPV vaccine, one year later
In this article that appears is the Network Summer 2008, CWHN reflects on the mass vacination programs against infections with some types of the human papilloma virus (HPV) among schoolgirls in Canada. One year later, there are perhaps even more questions than answers. Nevertheless, provinces and territories have either started school-based vaccination programs, or plan to begin them in the fall of 2008. Thus, parents across the country will be faced with the difficult decision of whether or not to allow their daughters to be vaccinated. And there remain concerns that they will too often lack the full information needed to give authentic informed consent.

Letter to the editor re: disinformation about HPV vaccine
Submitted to the Globe and Mail January 31, 2008

HPV, Vaccines, and Gender: Policy Considerations June 25, 2007
This paper reflects data available to us as of June 2007. Studies about HPV vaccines -- their efficacy, safety, place in women's health care -- and research on the implications of initiating vaccination programs continue to evolve. We will be adding new references and links to some of this work as best we can in the future. A summary of this paper appeared in the 28 August 2007 Canadian Medical Association Journal: www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/177/5/484.

Gardasil: What you need to know about the HPV vaccine
By Women and Health Protection and the Canadian Women’s Health Network, with assistance from Judy Norsigian, Alicia Priest, and Robin Barnett.

Dr. Abby Lippman on CBC
While Merck-Frosst might have raised public awareness of the Human Papilloma Virus, the federal government and a growing list of provinces have elevated HPV to the top of the healthcare agenda. Now that Nova Scotia and Ontario are introducing vaccination programs, the rush for a so-called cure to cervical cancer raises concerns for some health experts.
Dr. Abby Lippman is a professor of epidemiology at McGill University, and the author of a report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal released this week looking at the HPV vaccine. She was in Montreal.

What our partners are saying

A Population Based HPV Immunization Program in British Columbia: Background Paper
January 17th, 2007 – Cancer Prevention Program, BC Cancer Agency and H. Kreuger and Associates Inc.
A Population Based HPV Immunization Program in British Columbia: Background Paper, prepared for the BC Cancer Agency Cancer Prevention Program, provides information to begin addressing the following questions:
*How many cancers and other diseases might be prevented by such a program?
*What are the expected side-effects of an HPV vaccine?
* Should an immunization program be implemented in BC?
* If so, should it be targeted to specific groups or be implemented population wide?
* Would an HPV immunization program in BC be cost-effective?

Position Statement on HPV Vaccine - Women's Health Clinic, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cervical Cancer Vaccines and Industry Influence - Bioethics Forum
When the manufacturer of the cervical cancer vaccine announced that it will stop lobbying for mandatory vaccination of schoolgirls, my students reacted with jeers. “So what?” said one, “They’ve already achieved their goals.” So young, so cynical - but not necessary inaccurate.

HPV Vaccine Flags Need for More Pap Tests
A little more than a year ago, the nation's first vaccine against some human papillomavirus (HPV) infections was released. This medical progress against cervical cancer got swept up by fear-based marketing that helped to generate premature calls for government mandates.

Canada's not ready for universal HPV immunization
September 28, 2007 – The National Review of Medicine
The federal government's $300 million handout to jumpstart provincially funded immunization programs for HPV vaccine Gardasil has met with support from many public health agencies, but scepticism from many in general practice.

Debating Gardasil in Canada
September 14, 2007 – By Judith Siers-Poisson
The author of a four-article series on the Politics and PR of Cervical Cancer in the United States of America describes her experience on a panel discussion, The Debate: Gardasil, Morality and Medicare, on The Agenda with Steve Paikin on Ontario Public Television. Also provides a link to the debate which can be viewed on-line.

Profit Knows No Borders, Selling Gardasil to the Rest of the World: Part Four of the Politics and PR of Cervical Cancer
July 30, 2007 – By Judith Siers Poisson
The three previous articles in this series have examined the Politics and PR of Cervical Cancer in the United States. This fourth and final installment will look at how Merck's so-called "cervical cancer vaccine," Gardasil, is being marketed in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Does Canada Need a HPV Vaccine? Recent allocation of federal dollars for vaccine program raises questions
The Epoch Times
Health Canada 's approval last July of a vaccine that protects women from a common from of cervical cancer may have been premature, say experts. Canada's record for treatment of cervical cancer is adequate, they say, and fast-tracking Gardasil, a vaccine for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), isn't the way to go. $300 million has been allotted to the vaccine program from the recent federal budget. But health professionals are questioning the necessity of a HPV vaccine in countries like Canada, which have successful comprehensive cervical screening programs.

Cervical Cancer
Posted: September 13, 2005
New technologies offer opportunities for prevention, but women's voices are missing from policies and programs. Written by Robin Barnett and Jean Shoveller.


Links to government programs

Federal Government

Canadian Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Research Priorities Workshop: Final Report - Public Health Agency of Canada
November 17th – 18th, 2005; Quebec City. CCDR 2006; 32S1:66.

Statement on human papillomavirus vaccine - National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)
Canada Communicable Disease Report. February 2007; 33, ACS-215.

Health Canada: Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
A fact sheet that provides information on HPV, gives a brief description on the immunization and explains the federal government’s role in the vaccination program.

SUMMARY BASIS OF DECISION (SBD) – Health Canada Health Products and Food Branch
Outlines the scientific and regulatory considerations that factor into Health Canada regulatory decisions related to drugs and medical devices. SBDs are written in technical language and are a direct reflection of observations detailed within reviewer reports. As such, SBDs are intended to complement and not duplicate information provided within the Product Monograph.

Public Health Agency of Canada
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Prevention and HPV Vaccine: Questions and Answers Disease Facts and Information.

Provincial Programs

Nova Scotia
Females in Grade 7 will be given three doses of the HPV vaccine over a six-month period during the 2007-08 educational year as part of Nova Scotia's school-based vaccination program. Like all public health vaccinations, the HPV vaccine is not mandatory and requires consent.

The HPV vaccine is being offered to all female students in Grade 8 beginning fall 2007 on a voluntary basis.

An HPV vaccination program was implemented in Québec on September 1, 2008, to prevent cervical cancer.

New Brunswick
Contact the local Public Health office or consult the department's web site (keyword "health").

Prince Edward Island
Contact the local Public Health office or consult the department's web site.

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador will begin vaccinating all girls in Grade 6 to protect against a virus that causes cervical cancer.

British Columbia
Girls in the sixth and ninth grades could begin receiving the vaccines at no cost in September 2008 because there already are provincial vaccine programs for the grades. No vaccine in the province is mandatory and that parents can opt their daughters out of the program. View a map of all B.C. Health Authorities and visit the Contact page for location-specific information.


Other points of view

Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society believes the vaccine should be readily available and affordable to the public. However, the vaccine should be viewed as a complement, not a replacement, for cervical cancer screening.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
In July 2007, the SOGC issued a Canadian Consensus Guideline on Human Papillomavirus (HPV), in which SOGC recommends the use of HPV vaccination for girls and women aged nine to 26.