Digital Public Defence: Berit Feiring
Cand.pharm Berit Feiring at Institute of Health and Society will be defending the thesis “HPV vaccination in Norway: Uptake, safety and effectiveness” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).
The University of Oslo is closed and the public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.
The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.
Digital Trial Lecture – time and place
- First opponent: Professor Kåre Mølbak, Statens Serum Institutt, Denmark
- Second opponent: Professor Hester DeMelker, RIVM, The Netherlands
- Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Anne Olaug Olsen, University of Oslo
Chair of the Defence
Professor Per Nafstad, University of Oslo
PhD Lill Trogstad, Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is a necessary cause of cervical cancer. HPV vaccine was implemented in the childhood immunisation programme in Norway in 2009 targeting 12-year-old girls through school-based vaccination.
The overall aim of this thesis was to evaluate the HPV immunisation programme. The specific aims were to explore socioeconomic determinants for HPV vaccine uptake, vaccine safety with regard to risk of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), establish baseline data of HPV burden in pre-screening, unvaccinated birth cohorts and estimate the population effectiveness of the HPV immunisation programme.
We used data from nationwide registries, collected urine samples from more than 19 000 young Norwegian women through repeated cross-sectional studies, analysed the samples for 37 HPV genotypes and performed statistical analyses.
During the first three programme years, HPV vaccine uptake was 78%. Despite presumably equal access to HPV vaccine, the uptake increased with increasing maternal income, while it decreased with increasing maternal education level.
No increased risk of CFS/ME was observed in girls who received the HPV vaccine as compared to unvaccinated girls.
HPV was detected in 15-20% of 17-year-old girls and in 45% of 21-year-old women not eligible for HPV vaccination. Five years after introduction of the HPV vaccine, a 90% decrease in the prevalence of the four HPV types included in the vaccine was seen in vaccinated girls at age 17. HPV prevalence decreased by more than 50% also in unvaccinated girls, indicating herd protection. A reduction was also seen in several non-vaccine types.
Based on the high vaccine uptake and the high population effectiveness of the HPV immunisation programme in Norway, we are optimistic with regard to future decline in precancerous lesions and cervical cancer in Norway.
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