The positive impact of the HPV vaccine is indisputable, say experts 

10 years after the HPV (Human papilomavirus) vaccination program was introduced in Scotland, the “indisputable” impact of the vaccine has seen cases of cervical pre-cancer dramatically reduce.

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
The positive impact of the HPV vaccine is indisputable, say experts  - NewsMavens
Vaccination, PixaBay

Why this story matters:

While there are many strands of HPV, the more dangerous strands can lead to cervical disease and potentially cancer. As much as 99.7% of cervical cancers are the result of an infection from a strand of HPV, making it the second most common cancer in the UK for women under the age of 35.

However, evidence from the most recent study can has thrown huge support behind the vaccine, with the researchers suggesting "The findings will need to be considered by cervical cancer prevention programmes worldwide".

Dr Kevin Pollock, from Glasgow Caledonian University, added "the HPV vaccine should significantly reduce cervical cancer in the next few years", continuing, “As long as the high uptake continues, the virus has got nowhere to go and it is being eliminated.”

Evidence has shown that there was a 90% drop in cases of pre-cancerous cells in women who have had the vaccine. They study concludes that this is a “dramatic reduction” and that the vaccine should be considered “highly effective”. Furthermore, while it was initially believed the vaccine would reduce the impact of two strands of the virus, it has been found to reduce the risk of an additional three strands of HPV.

The report follows an announcement from the Scottish Government in 2018 that HPV vaccination programs will soon begin for adolescent males. 

Details from the story:

  • Young women across the UK aged 12-13 have been offered the vaccine in the past 10 years.
  • 90% of young girls in Scotland received the vaccine.
  • The study was published by the BMJ.
  • Data was gathered from 140,000 women who had their vaccination and screening between 2008-2016.
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