Current issues facing the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccine in Malaysia
AbstractCertain human papillomavirus (HPV) types are strongly associated with cervical cancer. Recently-described effective vaccines against these HPV types represent a great medical breakthrough in preventing cervical cancer. In Malaysia, the vaccine has justreceived regulatory approval. We are likely to face similar barriers to implementing HPV vaccination as reported by countries where vaccination has been introduced. Most women have poor understanding of HPV and its link to cervical cancer. Physicians who will be recommending HPV vaccines may not have extensive knowledge or experience with HPV-related disease. Furthermore, a vaccine against a sexually-transmitted infection may elicit negative reactions from potential recipients or their carers, particularly in a conservative society. Given the high cost of the vaccine, reaching the most vulnerable women is a concern. To foster broad acceptance of HPV vaccine, education must be provided to health care providers, parents and young women about the risks of HPV infection and the benefits of vaccination.
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