Vaccination against the papillomavirus can be done in pharmacies. Instructions with our expert

Vaccination against the papillomavirus can be done in pharmacies Instructions

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    in collaboration with

    Dr. Yves Dour (Doctor in Pharmacy)

    To improve prevention against papillomaviruses, a vaccination campaign will be initiated at the college. At the same time, pharmacists can now prescribe and administer these vaccines. Zoom on this novelty with the pharmacist Yves Dour.

    The prevention of HPV infections is now a priority, but France remains one of the European countries in which the vaccination coverage rates are the lowest. In addition to a school vaccination campaign for 5th graders, France is mobilizing general practitioners, nurses, midwives and also pharmacists to facilitate access to this vaccination.

    Vaccination coverage far from the objectives set by the health authorities

    According to 2022 figures from Santé Publique France, vaccination coverage against HPV (complete schedule at the age of 16) is 41.5% for girls and 8.5% for boys. These very low rates do not offer sufficient protection for the French population against HPV infections and remain very far from the ambition of the authorities. As part of the ten-year strategy for the fight against cancer 2021-2030, the objective is to reach 80% of boys and girls vaccinated against HPV by 2030.

    Papillomaviruses cause 6,400 new cases of cancer per year with serious consequences for the quality of life of those affected.“, explains Dr Rodolphe Chastel, general practitioner in Lyon. He also recalls that “in addition to cancer of the cervix, HPVs cause other serious diseases such as cancers of the oropharynx, penis or anus“.

    Pharmacists mobilized for this vaccination

    Extending the skills of pharmacists could simplify the vaccination course and increase vaccination rates, as has already been the case for vaccination against influenza. A recent IQVIA MSD acceptability study on the extension of vaccination skills for pharmacists is widely recognized by parents: 70% of them see this new vaccination course as a possibility of increasing protection against papillomaviruses. We note that 2 out of 3 pharmacists and 1 out of 2 parents are already in favor of HPV vaccination in pharmacies, from patient identification to injection.

    In order to best support pharmacists, the decree of August 8, 2023 provides for training, divided into two modules: one for the prescription lasting 10h30 and the other devoted to the administration, of a 7 hour duration. At the same time, the development and use of digital tools, such as Mon Espace Santé, will ensure the traceability of vaccination, the monitoring of the vaccination status of the population and the sharing of information between healthcare professionals.

    The recommendation to vaccinate girls and boys aged 11 to 14 with catch-up vaccination between 15 and 19 is therefore probably a necessary but not sufficient measure. It should not overshadow the importance of screening by cervico-uterine sampling. (smear).

    Nevertheless, if the announcement mentions an immediate decision, it will probably still be necessary to wait some time to have full access to it, according to Yves Dour, doctor of pharmacy consulted:

    “We already had the possibility of administering vaccines, since the Covid, but for the Papillomavirus, we received the right of prescription only 15 days ago. Being vaccinated directly in pharmacies will therefore be possible… provided that we are trained in the HPV vaccine, and this training has also only been validated for a few days. Saying that we are going to vaccinate against the papillomavirus tomorrow remains a bit hasty. Not to mention that some pharmacists do not vaccinate and will not want to to do. This will therefore be specific to the pharmacists in your place of residence. This is a step forward, it will be possible soon, but not everywhere.”

    Vaccination will therefore be offered from this start of the school year to 5th graders directly on the premises of their college, but also soon in pharmacies, where prescription and administration will be possible.