Jakarta (ANTARA) - The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program for cervical cancer prevention will be expanded to a national scale starting in 2023, Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin stated.

"Hopefully, our HPV vaccination coverage would be 100 percent in 2023," Sadikin noted at a virtual press conference during the commemoration of 2022 World Immunization Day on Friday.

The minister also remarked that studies related to HPV vaccination had been conducted since long, and the results showed that it could prevent the risk of cervical cancer. Sadikin remarked that it was the right time to massively implement the program in Indonesia.

HPV vaccination in Indonesia has only been started in two provinces and five districts and cities in Indonesia since 2021 and then expanded to three provinces and five districts and cities this year, he stated.

"As in the Yogyakarta area, vaccination had started and showed good result. We wanted this HPV vaccination to be quickly launched nationally to suppress maternal deaths caused by cervical cancer since the mortality rate is increasing over time," Sadikin added.

The HPV vaccination program targets female students in fifth and sixth grade. According to the rules, the vaccine is best administered to participants, who have not yet started menstruating.

"If the recipients already experienced menstruation, then the vaccine efficacy will reduce the prevalence of cervical cancer. That is why we are pursuing HPV vaccination for elementary grade female students," he explained.

Meanwhile, Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, stated that HPV vaccination this year will be expanded by increasing the coverage for another eight provinces.

"We will expand HPV vaccination this year by adding eight provinces on the list. We are targeting to have the highest prevalence of cervical cancer in four provinces in Java, three provinces in Sulawesi, and Bali," he noted.
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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Suharto
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