The role of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is to advise the Secretary of State for Health and Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Ministers on matters relating to communicable diseases, preventable and potentially preventable through immunisation.
JCVI considered vaccine efficacy data for the Human Papilloma virus vaccines, presented from published papers and as provided by the manufacturers.
At the time of writing the statement (published 18 July 2008) JCVI concluded that both vaccines have a good safety record, and they are highly effective in protecting against the precursors of cervical cancer. Individuals who received the vaccines have been followed for at least six years in clinical trials so far, and the level of antibodies remains at a high level. Based on these high levels, the opinion of the JCVI was that the duration of immunity is expected to be at least 10 years.
A copy of the “JCVI statement on Human Papilloma virus vaccines to protect against cervical cancer” has been placed in the Library.
The routine Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme is ongoing and is available to 12 to 13-year-old girls. The routine HPV vaccination programme coincides with the school year and runs from September to September. A three year catch up campaign also commenced in September 08 and will make the HPV vaccine available for 13 to 18-year-olds. Girls aged 17-18 will be offered the HPV vaccine in the 2008-09 school year, girls aged 16-18 in the 2009-10 school year and girls aged 15-17 in the 2010-11 school year.
The Department estimated that there are approximately 300,000 girls in each age cohort in England and primary care trusts should be offering the vaccine to all of these girls.
Women over the age of 18 are not eligible for the HPV vaccine under the national programme. The Department has made no estimate of the number of women of this age who may be vaccinated with Cervarix. Doctors may prescribe the HPV vaccine to women over the age of 18 in exceptional clinical circumstances. HPV vaccines are also available privately.
The only cost associated with the procurement of the Cervarix vaccine was for legal advice on the development of the tender documents. This amount was £52,934.59. The individual cost of the vaccine and the total cost to Government is commercial-in-confidence.
Primary care trusts (PCTs) were provided with funding to implement the national programme. A list of allocations per PCT is available from the following web link, which has also been placed in the Library.
The Department has a five year storage and distribution contract with Movianto UK. The Human Papillomavirus vaccine is distributed as part of the current distribution arrangements under this contract.