The symposium “Scientific evidence of gender-neutral HPV vaccine” was hosted by the Vietnam Association of Preventive Medicine on March 27, 2022 in Ho Chi Minh City and April 6, 2022 in Hanoi to provide the latest updates on the HPV-related pathologies in men and women to healthcare professionals.
In this symposium, MSD also launched the 9–valent HPV vaccine – a gender-neutral vaccine helping to prevent HPV-associated diseases in both men and women. The 9-valent HPV vaccine helps to protect up to nine popular HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. The introduction of the new generation of HPV vaccine is a crucial step towards advancing vaccination coverage, reducing the disease burden of HPV-related cancers and diseases, contributing to building a healthier young generation.
Doctor Le Quang Thanh, Director of Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, said in the symposium: “HPV does not discriminate between males and females. The HPV-associated diseases affect both genders without exception. While the prevalence of genital HPV is higher in men than in women across all ages, herd immunity in men has long been relied on the vaccination coverage among women. Also, screening measures to early detect HPV-related cancers in men are not available yet in Vietnam. Therefore, gender-neutral HPV vaccine will play an important role in providing a direct protection for men.”
Doctor Tham Chi Dung, an epidemiology expert with the Ministry of Health, emphasized the role of the gender-neutral vaccine: “Vaccinating both boys and girls is a common practice in many countries worldwide, yielding positive outcomes. Scientific studies demonstrated that periodic vaccination for men up to 26 years of age can increase the resilience rate of vaccination campaign 13 times in comparison with vaccinating only women.”
In the situation of low HPV vaccination rate in the country – remaining at 12% in 2020-2021, MSD signed a technical collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund in 2019 to support the Ministry of Health in rolling out an HPV vaccination program. Implemented in the period from 2019 to 2023. The program facilitates the scale up of an HPV vaccination program and address the reduction of the burden of HPV-related diseases.
Jennifer Cox, Managing Director of MSD Vietnam, said: “MSD has been committed to vaccine research and innovation to protect communities for more than a century, with a strong focus on HPV vaccines. MSD is committed to collaborating with the medical community and relevant organizations in Vietnam to raise public awareness of cervical cancer. We are also dedicated to ensuring equitable access to HPV vaccines in order to realize the mission of eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem.”