Skåne moves ahead with vaccination campaign

Region won't wait, wants to stop cancer now

The Skåne region in the south of Sweden has signed a contract with a pharmaceutical company to start vaccinating girls against cervical cancer, despite an ongoing conflict between two pharmaceutical companies that has delayed the vaccine for over three years.

Girls in grades five and six across Sweden were supposed to already this month receive the vaccine, which protects against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV), a leading cause of cervical cancer.

But national authorities have postponed the vaccine campaign several times as the pharmaceutical companies, Glaxo Smith Kline and Sanofi Pasteur MSD, fight and make appeals against the county council's public procurement process.

Skåne can be fined for going ahead and signing a deal directly with Sanofi Pasteur, but regional advisor Gilbert Tribo says "either way, we are saving young girls' lives".