Intended for healthcare professionals


HPV vaccination in the UK

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 08 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1028
  1. Jo Waller, senior research fellow,
  2. Jane Wardle, professor of clinical psychology
  1. 1Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, UCL, London WC1E 6BT
  1. j.waller{at}

Acceptable uptake is possible in schools, but important practical barriers exist

In the accompanying study, Brabin and colleagues report findings from a pilot study of routine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in advance of the implementation of a £100m (€124m; $197m) national HPV immunisation programme in the United Kingdom this autumn.1 The study achieved 70.6% uptake for the first dose of the vaccine, with a drop of only 2.1% for the second dose. The third dose has yet to be delivered, and the authors emphasise the crucial importance of maintaining high uptake for the final dose.

These are the first published data on the uptake of HPV vaccine, and they are both encouraging and consistent with studies of intentions to vaccinate in the UK and elsewhere.2 3 4 However, uptake was lower than the 87.2% achieved in the same age group for a school based meningitis C catch-up programme in 2000,5 or the 91% uptake of the first dose in a comparable study of hepatitis B vaccination. 1

Achieving acceptable coverage in the absence of national …

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