Istanbul Municipality launches free HPV vaccination program

Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu announced that the municipality would provide free HPV vaccination to people between the ages of 9-26.

Duvar English

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu on May 14 announced that the municipality has launched a free Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program.

Making a statement on his X account, İmamoğlu stated that people between the ages of 9-26 could benefit from the program that would start on May 16.

İmamoglu also noted that HPV-induced cancer cases in Turkey tend to increase.

Studies have found the HPV vaccine to be almost 100 percent effective in preventing cervical cancer, which kills over 1200 women per year in Turkey.

With the most recent price hike in January, the cost of a three-dose immunization became 11,402 liras ($353). However, the insurance does not cover the cost of the vaccination.,

An Ankara court back in March 2023 ruled that the Turkish Social Security Institution (SGK) should reimburse a woman for her HPV vaccination, setting the precedent for many other women who have had to pay a hefty fee for the jab.

Although Health Minister Fahrettin Koca promised to include the HPV vaccine in the national vaccination program two years ago, the government has not fulfilled this promise. Koca stated on May 9 that they could not give a date for the free vaccination, but that they were working on a "domestic vaccine."