Introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in Belgium, 2007-2008
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Eurosurveillance: European communicable disease bulletin / European Communities. Commission; Communautés européennes. Commission. - Saint-Maurice
University of Antwerp
This paper documents the progress of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine introduction in Belgium. Information on vaccine use is based on sales statistics and reimbursement claims. From November 2007 to November 2008, the National Institute for Health and Disability Insurance reimbursed the HPV vaccine for girls aged between 12-15 years. In December 2008, the age limit was extended to include girls up to the age of 18. In November 2008, the total number of HPV vaccines sold exceeded 530,000 doses. The number of vaccines reimbursed in Belgium, for the period November 2007-November 2008, corresponds to the amount required to fully vaccinate 44% of all girls aged between 12-15 years. However, the trend was decreasing over the last 10 months. By the current reimbursement policy, we can expect that maximum half of the target population can be reached. In Flanders (one of the three Communities in Belgium), the intention is to start, from September 2010, with a free school-based HPV immunisation for girls in the first year of secondary school (12 years of age), complemented with vaccination by a physician of choice. This strategy ensures a higher HPV vaccine coverage which is expected to be as high as the current coverage in the hepatitis B vaccination programme (approximately 80%) offered to boys and girls in the same age group and under the same circumstances.