The development of a vaccine to prevent the contraction of the high-risk strands of human papillomavirus (HPV) 6, 11, 16 and 18 has the potential to prevent 70% of all cervical cancers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends that girls aged 11-12 receive the HPV vaccine. At present, eighteen states have already decided or are considering to make HPV vaccination mandatory for adolescent girls. As the HPV vaccine becomes mandatory, the demand for the vaccine is expected to dramatically rise. This increase in demand could make our nation vulnerable to interruptions in HPV vaccine production. If an interruption occurs, many adolescent girls and women could be at an unnecessary risk of acquiring HPV if they were to miss routine HPV immunizations. One major factor in the prevention of HPV vaccine shortages is the creation of vaccine stockpiles by the CDC. In this paper, mathematical models are used to determine and analyze stockpile levels sufficient to minimize the effects of a production interruption for the HPV vaccine. The results indicate that the stockpile level is highly sensitive to the vaccine coverage rate and the duration of the production interruption. To protect against a six month interruption in vaccine production, a stockpile of at least 3M is recommended.

Author Bio

Jamie D. Lloyd is currently pursuing a M.S. in Operations Research at Virginia Commonwealth University and working for Dominion. She performed this research as an independent study project while pursuing a B.S. in Statistical Sciences & Operations Research at Virginia Commonwealth University, from which she graduated in May 2008.