Misconceptions may mean that too few women take the HPV vaccine, which can eradicate cervical cancer. This is the opinion of the Cancer Foundation, which is now expressing concern about the low participation rate in the vaccination campaign to eliminate cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine can eliminate cancer
As previously reported by Läkemidelsvärden, regions of Sweden are investing heavily in mass vaccination of women born between 1994 and 1999 against the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus is transmitted through sexual contact and is the main cause of cervical cancer.
The aim of the projectThe vaccine is provided free of charge to women in the target group, in order to eliminate this type of cancer.
Sweden is one breath away from being the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer. It is a historic investment as the disease can be eradicated in just three years. “Just the idea is dizzying,” says Ulrika Areheid Kagström, Secretary General of the Cancer Foundation, in an article. press release.
It varies greatly between regions
In order to successfully reach the goal of eliminating the spread of HPV, at least 70% of women need to receive the HPV vaccine before the end of 2024. However, many regions report that interest in getting vaccinated is low.
Currently it is Only 30 percent of women in the target group did so. It also varies greatly between regions. In the Kronoberg region, which is currently the best, 44 percent of women born in 1994-1999 have been vaccinated.
In Skinny and Dalarna, only 13 percent have been vaccinated.
– time is short. Now, more women in the target group need to reach the nearest vaccination clinic, for their own sake and for the sake of all women, says Ulrika Areheid Kagström.
I think they were vaccinated
The Cancer Foundation believes that low participation may be due to poor accessibility to vaccination sites and to women's beliefs and knowledge.
Recently, the Cancer Foundation presented Therefore, research company Xtreme Insight was commissioned to study knowledge and attitudes about the HPV vaccine in the target group. The survey was conducted on a nationally representative sample of women born 1994-1999.
The startling result is that three-quarters of women in the target group mistakenly believed they already had adequate protection from the HPV vaccine.
According to the Cancer Foundation. There are two explanations for these misconceptions. Some women may simply misremember and think they have been vaccinated against HPV when this is not the case.
There may be different explanations
Another possible explanation is that many members of the target group were offered the HPV vaccine Gardasil 4 several years ago. It is an older version of the vaccine, and does not protect against as many virus variants as the current vaccine, Gardasil 9.
But some Women may not know this difference and think that the injection they received before is sufficient.
– Even those who have taken the older version of the vaccine must update their protection in order for us to succeed in completely stopping the spread of the virus. It would be devastating for Sweden to waste such a historic opportunity because of a misunderstanding where women mistakenly believe they are fully protected, says Ulrika Areheid Kagström.
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