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HPV vaccination program yields positive results on cervical cancer reduction in England

A new study published in The Lancet finds that HPV vaccination greatly reduced the incidence of cervical cancer for young women in England.

An observational study assessed the effect of the HPV bivalent vaccine on clinical outcomes in young women in England, who were offered the vaccine starting in September 2008. Specifically, researchers calculated the rate of cervical cancer and cervical cancer in situ—particularly grade 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN3)—among 3 cohorts of vaccinated females and earlier cohorts who did not receive the HPV vaccine.

Using a combined 13.7 million years of follow-up data for women aged 20 to 29 years, investigators determined relative reduction rates in cervical cancer, stratified according to age at vaccination. For the young women vaccinated at age 12 to 13 years, the rate came down by 87% versus 52% for those vaccinated at age 14 to 16 years and 34% for those vaccinated at age 16 to 18 years. For CIN3, the risk reductions were 97%, 75%, and 39% in those respective age brackets.

The data underscore the success of England’s HPV immunization program, which was particularly effective among females vaccinated at age 12 to 13 years. The campaign has nearly eradicated cervical cancer among women born since September 1995 and markedly reduced the incidence of CIN3.

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