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Poland's low HPV vaccination rates jeopardise cervical cancer prevention

Poland's low HPV vaccination rates jeopardise cervical cancer prevention

Image source: © canva
Marta Grzeszczuk,
26.01.2024 16:00

Scotland has achieved excellent results with free HPV vaccination, while in Poland, only 18% of eligible young people have been vaccinated.

In December 2023, The Ministry of Health in Poland reported that only 138,000 young people out of over 800,000 eligible had received the free human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The vaccination program started on June 1, 2023, and aimed to vaccinate young people aged 12 and 13. This means that less than 18% of those eligible for the vaccine had received it.

HPV vaccine: Superb efficacy

It is important to get vaccinated against HPV, which is a sexually transmitted virus, as it can prevent cervical cancer in the future. On January 22, Public Health Scotland (PHS), the Scottish equivalent of the National Health Service in Poland, published the results of a similar free vaccination program launched in 2008.

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The data released by PHS showed that none of the vaccinated young women developed cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer among women worldwide. The European Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from January 22 to January 28.

Dangerous effects of HPV

According to a report by, HPV can cause vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, penile cancer in men, and also be responsible for anal cancer and cancers of the head and neck area.

We have previously discussed the low popularity of the HPV vaccination program in Poland. Furthermore, we have highlighted the involvement of the former Minister of Education and Science, Przemyslaw Czarnek, whose ministry refused to cooperate in promoting life-saving vaccination in schools.

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