Contrary to circulating rumours, there was no shortage of the vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV) needed for shots for Prathom 5 schoolgirls nationwide, according to Atthaporn Limpanyalert, a National Health Security Office (NHSO) spokesperson.
In fact, said Attaporn, there are sufficient doses for use in the planned June-August period for the vaccine shots. Some 480,000 dosages have been sent to vaccination administrators for the second required dose for schoolgirls who had received their first shot in the 2017 academic year’s first semester.
The vaccine is supposed to be given to schoolgirls in two doses, six months apart.
NHSO is now in the process of procuring another 780,000 dosages, which the supplier had on Wednesday confirmed are available and would soon be delivered to Thailand, he said.
Most of these 780,000 dosages would be used for the first shot in the Prathom 5 schoolgirls’ first semester in the 2018 academic year.
Thailand averages about 6,000 new cases of cervical cancer per year, with about 3,000 yearly deaths from the disease.
Prathom 5 girls, aged 11-12, were deemed the most suitable group for HPV vaccination as per the World Health Organisation recommendation.
The vaccine would protect against the two high-risk HPV types (types 16 and 18), which cause 70 per cent of cervical cancer in women.