Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) will be added to the routine immunization schedule in the Republic of Moldova in November 2017. Timely vaccination against HPV prevents infection with viruses that are the leading cause of cervical and other cancers. The Ministry of Health’s decision to introduce the vaccine followed the recommendation of the country’s independent national immunization technical advisory committee (NITAG) based on its thorough review of available evidence.
WHO/Europe support for the decision-making process has included organization of a national conference and stakeholders’ meeting on HPV disease and vaccines on 29–30 September 2016 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The conference brought together public health professionals and clinicians (obstetricians/gynaecologists, paediatricians, oncologists), medical academia, Ministry of Health officials, representatives of the Medical and Pharmaceutical State University, the national immunization programme, United Nations agencies and other stakeholders. They discussed the burden of cervical cancer in the Republic of Moldova and the experience of countries globally and in the European Region in implementing the HPV vaccine, including country efforts to address vaccine safety concerns, as well as other challenges and lessons learnt.