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Study Suggests HPV Vaccine Could Have Substantial Impact On Rates of Cervical Cancers

22 Sep 16

Eight years after the introduction of the HPV vaccine in a large, Midwestern community, the vaccine appears to be on its way toward having a significant impact on reducing rates of cervical cancers and pre-cancers. 

A new Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study shows that prevalence of HPV types included in the vaccine decreased more than 90 percent in vaccinated women and more than 30 percent in unvaccinated women in the community. This decrease in unvaccinated women provides evidence of herd protection, which refers to protection among unvaccinated women because others are vaccinated.

"Our study demonstrates high vaccine effectiveness in a community setting, even among sexually experienced young woman who may already have been exposed to HPV," says Jessica Kahn, MD, a physician in the Division of Adolescent and Transition Medicine at Cincinnati Children's and lead author of the study.

"The tremendous decrease in vaccine-type HPV prevalence – from 35 percent to 3 percent in vaccinated women – is even more notable given that the decrease was among sexually active women who may have been infected prior to vaccination and may have received fewer than the recommended three doses, both of which could reduce vaccine effectiveness. The substantial decrease in vaccine-type HPV was likely due to excellent HPV vaccine efficacy and high vaccination rates in this population."

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