The HPV Vaccine
A recent report has proven that the use of the HPV vaccine in the United States has cut the chance of a 14-19 year old young woman being infected with key HPV strains in more than half.
Since 2006, the chance of a 14-19 year old young woman being infected with key HPV straind dropped 56%!
That is a very dramatic success, and occurs even with the rate of immunization for HPV not reaching 100%.
The trend suggests that if everyone got the HPV immunization, the chance of being infected with strains of HPV most likely to cause cervical cancer would dramatically disappear.
Why is this so exciting?
Because the 4 strains in the HPV vaccine account for the vast majority of cases of cervical cancer. We now have facts on the ground establishing that the HPV immunization program could nearly eliminate the chance of a woman experiencing cervical cancer, and sharply reducing the chance she could experience the terrible experience of a questionable Pap smear.
When the HPV vaccine was first introduced we raised questions about how well would it work. How long would it last after the 3 shot series was concluded? Was there enough cervical tissue abnormality in the US to see a benefit from less HPV infections?
Well, now we have some real world answers. The 3 shot series works, and works well, and lasts. It works so well we can now be confident that getting the HPV series will change the lives of a large number of women, nearly eliminating cervical cancer and the risk of such.
This report moves Advanced Pediatrics towards enthusiastically recommending that all girls and boys receive the 3-shot HPV immunization series in late middle school or early high school.
Dr. Arthur Lavin
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