BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- China will accelerate the examination and approval of domestic human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines and increase public access to the vaccines to protect the people against cervical cancer.
Efforts will be made to promote HPV vaccination among target populations and open more channels for people from poverty-stricken areas to be immunized, according to a plan for cancer prevention jointly issued by 10 government departments including the National Health Commision.
HPV is believed to be the main cause of cervical and vaginal cancers, and can affect both men and women, said Lei Chengzhi, an expert at the National Cancer Center.
People can prevent HPV infection through getting vaccinated at an appropriate age, said Lei, adding HPV vaccines are more effective for younger people, but can also benefit older females.
China's HPV vaccination rate is relatively low due to a lack of awareness and inadequate supply. Domestic vaccine manufacturers are expected to strengthen independent research and help expand HPV vaccine coverage in rural areas through the implementation of the plan.