Vaccination is effective in preventing human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. It is imperative to investigate who should be vaccinated and what the best vaccine distribution strategy is. In this paper, we use a dynamic model to assess HPV vaccination strategies in a heterosexual population combined with gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The basic reproduction numbers for heterosexual females, heterosexual males and MSM as well as their average for the total population are obtained. We also derive a threshold parameter, based on basic reproduction numbers, for model analysis. From the analysis and numerical investigations, we have several conclusions. (1) To eliminate HPV infection, the priority of vaccination should be given to MSM, especially in countries that have already achieved high coverage in females. The heterosexual population gets great benefit but MSM only get minor benefit from vaccinating heterosexual females or males. (2) The best vaccination strategy is to vaccinate MSM firstly as many as possible, then heterosexual females, lastly heterosexual males. (3) Given a fixed vaccination coverage of MSM, distributing the remaining vaccines to only heterosexual females or males leads to a similar prevalence in the total population. This prevalence is lower than that when vaccines are distributed to both genders. The evener the distribution, the higher the prevalence in the total population. (4) Vaccination becomes less effective in reducing the prevalence as more vaccines are given. It is more effective to allocate vaccines to a region with lower vaccination coverage. This study provides information that may help policymakers formulate guidelines for vaccine distribution to reduce HPV prevalence on the basis of vaccine availability and prior vaccination coverage. Whether these guidelines are affected when the objective is to reduce HPV-associated cancer incidence remains to be further studied.

References

PubMed