Paris (AFP) – About 10% of fifth-grade students have received the first dose of the vaccine against the papilloma virus, according to the first provisional official figures obtained by Agence France-Presse on Thursday, which is far less than the 30% that the government hopes for in this first campaign.
“According to partial comments from regional health agencies, at least 92,262 college students have been vaccinated as of December 23, 2023,” the Directorate General of Health noted.
“At this stage of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination campaign in middle schools, the numbers show that the vaccination rate for fifth graders is about 10%,” according to the same source.
The expected goal of this first edition of the campaign was to vaccinate at least 30% of fifth-grade students, according to the Ministry of Health at the beginning of September.
Asked about this issue in November by Agence France-Presse, former Health Minister Aurelien Rousseau acknowledged that the goal might not be achieved, while he hoped that 150,000 fifth-grade students could be vaccinated this year.
“It's a start, and it will take perseverance,” he said, referring to the heterogeneity between regions and households and the need to “adapt the tools.”
At the beginning of January, officials from the French Society for Colposcopy and Cervical and Vaginal Pathology (SFCPCV) estimated that this vaccination was far from expected, with a “disappointing” initial overview.
For the SFCPCV, the campaign suffered, among other things, from an administrative organization that was “heavy and a bit complicated.”
Thanks to the information and communication campaign launched by the National Cancer Institute (INCA) since September, “the proposed vaccination operation at the college could lead to an increase in vaccinations in the city,” according to the General Directorate of Health.
A preliminary estimate of the total number of students vaccinated for the first dose will be made during the first quarter of 2024, and the full results of this first year of the campaign will not be known until the end of the school year.
At the beginning of 2023, President Emmanuel Macron promised to launch a vaccination campaign against the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes many types of cancer such as cervical cancer, at the beginning of October.
This applies to all public colleges and private voluntary colleges.
© 2024 Agence France-Presse
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