Vaccine Reduces Likelihood Among Teenage Girls To Be Infected With HPV
Ten years since its introduction, a recently published study featured in Pediatrics suggests that the vaccine for human papillomavirus appeared to have cut down cancer-causing STD prevalence among teenage girls by two-thirds.
"We are continuing to see decreases in the HPV types that are targeted by the vaccine. We have seen declines in genital warts [caused by HPV] already. The next thing we expect to see is a decline in pre-cancers, then later on declines in cancer," remarked lead study author Dr. Lauri Markowitz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as quoted by MSN news.
Despite the apparent success of the vaccine first recommended in 2006, experts wondered why such STD vaccinations have not been expanded for widespread use in the US.
The findings showed that HPV prevalence among teenage adolescents aged 14 to 19 plummeted by 64% while a 34% drop had been observe among women aged 20 to 24 six years from the time the vaccine was first introduced.
"The vaccine is more effective than we thought and vaccinated teenagers are not spreading the virus...they also protect the people who haven't been vaccinated," said Debbie Saslow of the American Cancer Society as reported by the New York Times.
Because of the study's positive findings on the preventive effectiveness of the virus, Dr. Sarah Feldman of Brigham and Women's Hospital commented that it's time to recast society's mindset as far anti-STD vaccines are concerned and regard them like one of those vaccines for diseases like measles, mumps, and rubella.
"More and more, it's becoming clear that this is a cancer prevention vaccine, and if we could get 100% of our boys and 100% of our girls vaccinated, we could probably eradicate the worst HPV types," Feldman said according to a CNN report.