Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Director of state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Bio Farma Honesti Basyir stated that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program in 2023 will target 1.4 million fifth- and sixth-grader girls in elementary schools.

“There are several segments that we target. The first-stage government support (financing) for this vaccination is around 1.4 million fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school children in Indonesia,” he noted here on Tuesday.

Basyir remarked that the government, through Bio Farma, projected the need for vaccines in the first stage to reach around 2.8 to three million doses per year.

The HPV vaccine is given in three doses, in which 0.5 ml is given in each administration. In the bivalent HPV vaccine immunization, the second dose is given one month after the first dose and the third dose is given six months after the first dose.

The number of vaccination participants is targeted to increase again by targeting women of childbearing age, specifically those aged 10 to 50 years of age.

Based on the 2018 Basic Health Research data, cervical cancer is the second-biggest cause of death in women, with an average death rate of 13.9 per 100 thousand population.

According to the company's president director, the participation of girls in the HPV vaccination program is considered more effective in preventing HPV cases since they are not yet sexually active.

He further pointed out that in the advanced stage, the vaccination program would also target men.

Based on the website of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV can be transmitted through sex. Thus, men can be exposed to the virus that causes cervical cancer if they have sex with someone infected with HPV.

To meet the need for HPV vaccines in the country, Bio Farma established a technology transfer cooperation with an American pharmaceutical company, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), to produce the 4-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Indonesia.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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