One Decade Later, HPV Vaccine Even More Effective than Anticipated
Monday, February 29, 2016
In 2006 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began recommending vaccination against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) among teenage girls. In addition to causing genital warts, HPV is known to be a major cause of cervical, anal, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. Pediatricians and cancer experts have recommend vaccinating children between the ages of 11 and 12, when immune response is more robust than that of teenagers and before sexual activity is prevalent.
A recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics and the CDC has found that in the 10 years since HPV vaccination began in the United States, there was a 64% decrease in HPV prevalence among females aged 14 to 19, and a 34% decrease among those aged 20 to 24 years, despite low immunization rates: only about 40% of girls and 20% of boys between ages 13 and 17 have been vaccinated for HPV, much lower than the rate public health officials have targeted.
“The vaccine is more effective than we thought,” said Debbie Saslow, a public health expert in HPV vaccination and cervical cancer at the American Cancer Society. As vaccinated teenagers become sexually active, they are not spreading the virus, so “they also protect the people who haven’t been vaccinated,” she said.
Vaccines represent some of the most promising advances in medicine today. In fact, vaccinations have reduced the number of infections from vaccine-preventable diseases by more than 90% since the first vaccine was introduced in 1798! Yet, many parents still have questions about safety because of misinformation they’ve received. That’s why it’s important to turn to a reliable and trusted source, including your child's doctor, for information.
Sterling Research is proud to be a part of advancing these important vaccine treatments with the help of our medical heroes: the study volunteers who make all of these medicines possible.
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