Japan's Ongoing Crisis on HPV Vaccination.

Masayuki Sekine* (Corresponding Author), Risa Kudo, Manako Yamaguchi, Sharon J. B. Hanley, Megumi Hara, Sosuke Adachi, Yutaka Ueda, Etsuko Miyagi, Sayaka Ikeda, Asami Yagi, Takayuki Enomoto

*Corresponding author for this work

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The Japanese government suspended proactive recommendations for the HPV vaccine in June 2013. The suspension is now in its seventh year, despite all the data pointing to the safety of the HPV vaccine. We reported a high vaccine effectiveness in the group of women vaccinated before their first intercourse (93.9%). The prevalence of cross-protected types of HPV 31/45/52 was also lower in the vaccinated group, and the vaccine effectiveness was 67.7%. Furthermore, prevalence of HPV16, 31 and 52 infection rates in the vaccinated group were obviously lower than that in the unvaccinated group, and no one had HPV18 or 45 infection in the vaccinated group. The addition of a cross-protective effect toward HPV types 31/45/52 to HPV types 16/18, which is the direct target of the bivalent HPV vaccine, may possibly prevent around 82% of invasive cervical cancer cases in Japan. With regard to the preventive effect of histological abnormalities, we also reported significant reduction in incidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)3 or worse. Thus, the efficacy of the vaccine has been demonstrated for precancerous disease, and the diverse symptoms after HPV vaccination are likely functional somatic. For the future of Japanese girls, there is a need to resume the proactive recommendation of HPV vaccination and for immediate action to be taken by the Japanese government.
Original languageEnglish
Article number362
Number of pages9
Issue number3
Early online date6 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding: This work was supported by the Health and Labor Sciences Research Grant [26272001] and the Japanese Agency for Medical Research and Development [JP15ck0106103].
Acknowledgments: We would like to thank Yuka Watanabe, Sachiko Ono, Anna Ishida, Yoko Motoki, Tomomi Egawa-Takata, Akiko Morimoto, Yusuke Tanaka and the administrator of Niigata city for their support in conducting the survey


  • adverse reaction
  • cervical cancer
  • HPV infection
  • HPV vaccine
  • Japanese government
  • suspension of proactive recommendation


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