Human Papillomavirus Vaccination After COVID-19

JNCI Cancer Spectr. 2021 Mar 2;5(2):pkab011. doi: 10.1093/jncics/pkab011. eCollection 2021 Apr.


The current global novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic threatens to derail the uptake of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in low- and lower-middle income countries with major disruptions to routine immunization and the introduction of new vaccines delayed. This has a major impact on the World Health Organization cervical cancer elimination strategy, where it is dependent on HPV vaccination as well as cervical cancer screening and treatment. We discuss current opportunities and barriers to achieve high uptake of HPV vaccination in low- and lower-middle income countries as well as the impact of COVID-19. Implementation of 4 key recommendations for HPV vaccination in low- and lower-middle income countries is needed: increased global financial investment; improved vaccine supply and accelerated use of a single-dose schedule; education and social marketing; and adoption of universal school-based delivery. With the commitment of the global health community, the adoption of these strategies would underpin the effective elimination of cervical cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Alphapapillomavirus / immunology*
  • Alphapapillomavirus / physiology
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / economics
  • Immunization Programs / statistics & numerical data
  • Pandemics
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / immunology*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines