Monaco offers free HPV vaccine, aiming to curtail cancer rates

The HPV vaccine, recommended for both genders, is now available in Monaco free of charge.

Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are a significant health concern worldwide, known for their highly contagious nature and potential to cause various cancers. Recent data suggests that over their lifetimes, approximately 90% of men and women will experience at least one HPV-related infection, often without noticeable symptoms. This silent progression underscores the importance of preventive measures, especially in light of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) estimation that cervical cancer, primarily caused by HPV, ranks as the fourth most common cancer among women globally.

The HPV vaccine, available since 2006, has emerged as a key player in the fight against these cancers. Utilising conventional technology, the vaccine targets the virus’s proteins to block its entry into the body. The WHO endorses this vaccine for both girls and boys, pointing to its effectiveness in reducing cancer risks. Countries like Australia, Argentina, and Belgium have reported promising strides towards eradicating HPV-related cancers, attributing this success to high immunisation rates.

Monaco’s progressive step

In Monaco, as of December 2023, the HPV vaccination has been made completely free for individuals covered by Monegasque social security, reflecting a commitment to public health and cancer prevention. The vaccine is equally recommended for girls and boys, as both are susceptible to HPV infections and the subsequent risk of developing cancer. The vaccination regimen consists of two doses, administered six months apart, with no need for a booster shot.

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