SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
versión On-line ISSN 2078-5135
versión impresa ISSN 0256-9574
MOODLEY, I; TATHIAH, N; MUBAIWA, V y DENNY, L. High uptake of Gardasil vaccine among 9 - 12-year-old schoolgirls participating in an HPV vaccination demonstration project in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2013, vol.103, n.5, pp.313-317. ISSN 2078-5135.
BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is linked to infection of the cervix by oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) subtypes. The quadrivalent Gardasil vaccine (against HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18), recommended in girls 9 - 12 years of age, has been shown to be safe, immunogenic and efficacious, with minimal or no side-effects. AIM: To demonstrate the capacity of school health teams to carry out vaccinations within a school environment. OBJECTIVES: To assess the uptake of 3 doses of the vaccine, document lessons learnt and provide recommendations for a national rollout of school-based HPV vaccination for learners. METHODS: Female learners (age 9 - 12 years) from 31 primary schools in Nongoma and Ceza districts (KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa) were identified for inclusion in the vaccination programme. The 3 doses of vaccine were administered by existing school health teams. Education and training sessions were held with all stakeholders: provincial departments of health and education; school health teams; primary healthcare nurses; hospital doctors and nurses; private practitioners; school principals, teachers and governing bodies; parents; and community and traditional leaders. RESULTS: The overall uptake of the vaccine was found to be high: 99.7%, 97.9% and 97.8% for the first, second and third doses respectively ( N=963). No adverse events were attributed to the HPV vaccine. CONCLUSION: This project demonstrated the successful implementation of HPV vaccination among learners (ages 9 - 12 years) using school health teams.