From September 2008, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be included in the national immunisation schedule in Scotland with the aim of preventing cervical cancer. Immunisation will be targeted at females aged 12 to 13 years with a catch-up campaign targeted at females up to but not including 18 years. A bivalent vaccine Cervarix, manufactured by GSK will be used, that protects against HPV types 16 and 18. HPV-16 and 18 are recognised as the causative agents of over 70% of cervical cancer.
The introduction of a vaccine against HPV may over time necessitate the reorganisation of the cervical screening programme to reflect changes in the prevalence of HPV related disease (cervical abnormalities and pre-cancerous lesions) in this population. A system for monitoring HPV and HPV related disease in the Scottish population will provide data to inform what will be the optimum combination of vaccination, screening and HPV testing required to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer.
The surveillance activities described in this protocol will focus on the monitoring of HPV infection and HPV related disease, and determine vaccine effectiveness in birth-cohorts offered the vaccine. As the vaccine aims to prevent cervical cancer, the surveillance activities described in this protocol will focus solely on the surveillance of females. Surveillance activities to determine herd-immunity in males will be developed at a future data and will be the subject of a separate protocol.