Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 206 Issue 5 September 1, 2012
Deborah Watson-Jones, Kathy Baisley, Riziki Ponsiano, Francesca Lemme, Pieter Remes, David Ross, Saidi Kapiga, Philippe Mayaud, Silvia de Sanjosé, Daniel Wight, John Changalucha, and Richard Hayes
Human Papillomavirus Vaccination in Tanzanian Schoolgirls: Cluster-Randomized Trial Comparing 2 Vaccine-Delivery Strategies
J Infect Dis. (2012) 206(5): 678-686 doi:10.1093/infdis/jis407
Background. We compared vaccine coverage achieved by 2 different delivery strategies for the quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in Tanzanian schoolgirls.
Methods. In a cluster-randomized trial of HPV vaccination conducted in Tanzania, 134 primary schools were randomly assigned to class-based (girls enrolled in primary school grade [class] 6) or age-based (girls born in 1998; 67 schools per arm) vaccine delivery. The primary outcome was coverage by dose.
Results. There were 3352 and 2180 eligible girls in schools randomized to class-based and age-based delivery, respectively. HPV vaccine coverage was 84.7% for dose 1, 81.4% for dose 2, and 76.1% for dose 3. For each dose, coverage was higher in class-based schools than in age-based schools (dose 1: 86.4% vs 82.0% [P = .30]; dose 2: 83.8% vs 77.8% [P = .05]; and dose 3: 78.7% vs 72.1% [P = .04]). Vaccine-related adverse events were rare. Reasons for not vaccinating included absenteeism (6.3%) and parent refusal (6.7%). School absenteeism rates prior to vaccination ranged from 8.1% to 23.5%.
Conclusions. HPV vaccine can be delivered with high coverage in schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Compared with age-based vaccination, class-based vaccination located more eligible pupils and achieved higher coverage. HPV vaccination did not increase absenteeism rates in selected schools. Innovative strategies will be needed to reach out-of-school girls.
Clinical Trials Registration. NCT01173900.