Ten years after being introduced, the vaccine for the human papillomavirus has reduced HPV in teenage girls by nearly two-thirds.
Without the vaccine, the STD can potentially cause cancer. Considering the amazing success of the vaccine has had, experts are questioning why HPV vaccinations are not more common in America.
As illustrated by a recent study in Pediatrics, there was a massive 64 percent decrease in the prevalence of the STD amongst young women aged 14 to 19, and a 34 percent decrease among women aged 20 to 24. This has all taken place within six years of the HPV vaccine’s introduction.
The federal research team, headed by Elizabeth R. Unger from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), investigated the prevalence of the disease in women and girls of various age groups before the vaccine was introduced in 2006, and compared the prevalence in the same age groups between 2009 to 2012. Only girls were studied because the recommendation to vaccine boys wasn’t issued until 2011 (the researchers say they’ll include boys in future studies)…
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. The CDC says nearly all sexually active men and women will contract some form of it at some point in their lives. Most people will clear the virus, but some forms of HPV persist, leading to genital warts and certain forms of cancer, including cervical, anal, penile, mouth, and throat cancers.
According to the New York Times, the lack of a national healthcare system that covers costs and gives people access to the vaccine is lacking in the United States, where it is optional. In many countries the HPV vaccine is mandatory, or even offered at schools. Such measures led Rwanda to achieve a 93 percent immunization rate, and Australia to see a 92% reduction in genital warts in women under the age of 21.