back to Knowledge Centre

HPV Vaccination and Screening

Romania ranks first in terms of incidence and mortality for cervical cancer: the incidence is 2.5 times higher than the European average, and the mortality rate is over 4 times higher. According to the „Attitudes and perceptions on cancer in Romania” national survey organised in 2018 by the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, according to Renasterea Foundation Surveys and National Institute for Public Health data:

  • (2018) 48% of women respondents said that in the last 3 years they were not tested for HPV;
  • (2018) Although 1 in 2 got informed on HPV vaccination, only 2% decided to get the vaccine;
  • (2018-2020) no less than 67% of women and girls from rural areas, aged 15-65, have genital
  • (2020) only 36% of Romanian women have heard of the HPV virus and only 31% associate
    this infection with cervical cancer.

Romania initiated its first cervical cancer screening program in 2012, aiming to cover around 6 million women aged between 25 and 63 over a span of five years. Yet, by 2015, a scanty 7% of the intended audience had been tested.

Romania was an early adopter of the HPV vaccination, introducing it in 2008 for 10–11-year-old girls, coinciding with the UK's initiative. Unfortunately, this effort was largely unsuccessful; merely 2.6% of the eligible girls received the vaccine, leading to the suspension of the program. 2009 saw the commencement of an awareness campaign, followed by another vaccination drive aimed at girls aged 12–14. An additional initiative allowed adult women to be vaccinated for free through healthcare providers. However, with the vaccine's low adoption rate, the school-centric program was halted by the end of 2011. Subsequent launches of the program occurred in April 2013 and again in 2019.

Preliminary figures from 2020 and 2021 indicate that less than 50,000 girls got vaccinated. No region in Romania has achieved a vaccination rate surpassing 5% of its target demographic, with the national average for 2020/2021 lingering at 2%. In stark contrast, the UK's HPV vaccination efforts have reaped significant results, witnessing a staggering 90% decrease in cervical cancer incidence.

Starting December 1, 2023, according to the Ministry of Health, Romania will finally implement one of the largest programs in Europe to eliminate cancers caused by HPV:

  • Adolescent girls and boys aged 11-14 will be able to get anti-HPV vaccination free of charge
  • Women between 19 and 45 years old will benefit from the anti-HPV vaccination in a 50% compensated regime

More details will follow.

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram