Background: Since 2006, many countries have implemented publicly funded human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programmes. However, global estimates of the extent and impact of vaccine coverage are still unavailable. We aimed to quantify worldwide cumulative coverage of publicly funded HPV immunisation programmes up to 2014, and the potential impact on future cervical cancer cases and deaths.
Methods: Between Nov 1 and Dec 22, 2014, we systematically reviewed PubMed, Scopus, and official websites to identify HPV immunisation programmes worldwide, and retrieved age-specific HPV vaccination coverage rates up to October, 2014. To estimate the coverage and number of vaccinated women, retrieved coverage rates were converted into birth-cohort-specific rates, with an imputation algorithm to impute missing data, and applied to global population estimates and cervical cancer projections by country and income level.
Findings: From June, 2006, to October, 2014, 64 countries nationally, four countries subnationally, and 12 overseas territories had implemented HPV immunisation programmes. An estimated 118 million women had been targeted through these programmes, but only 1% were from low-income or lower-middle-income countries. 47 million women (95% CI 39-55 million) received the full course of vaccine, representing a total population coverage of 1·4% (95% CI 1·1-1·6), and 59 million women (48-71 million) had received at least one dose, representing a total population coverage of 1·7% (1·4-2·1). In more developed regions, 33·6% (95% CI 25·9-41·7) of females aged 10-20 years received the full course of vaccine, compared with only 2·7% (1·8-3·6) of females in less developed regions. The impact of the vaccine will be higher in upper-middle-income countries (178 192 averted cases by age 75 years) than in high-income countries (165 033 averted cases), despite the lower number of vaccinated women (13·3 million vs 32·2 million).
Interpretation: Many women from high-income and upper-middle-income countries have been vaccinated against HPV. However, populations with the highest incidence and mortality of disease remain largely unprotected. Rapid roll-out of the vaccine in low-income and middle-income countries might be the only feasible way to narrow present inequalities in cervical cancer burden and prevention.
Funding: PATH, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, and Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR).
Copyright © 2016 Bruni et al. Open Access article distributed under the terms of CC BY. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.