Vaccine has sharply reduced HPV in teenage girls, study says

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has helped to significantly reduce the prevalence of four human HPV strains among teenage girls, according to new research.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has helped to significantly reduce the prevalence of four human HPV strains among teenage girls, according to new research. The study, published in Pediatrics, compared the pre-HPV vaccine years of 2003–06 with 2009–12 and found the prevalence of the four HPV strains covered by the vaccine had dropped 64% among girls aged 14–19 years. The prevalence of the four strains for women aged 20–24 years was 34%, while HPV rates among women aged 25 years and older did not decline. "We're seeing the impact of the vaccine as it marches down the line for age groups, and that's incredibly exciting," said Amy B. Middleman, MD, the chief of adolescent medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, who was not involved in the study. "A minority of females in this country have been immunized, but we're seeing a public health impact that is quite expansive." There are a number of obstacles to higher HPV vaccination rates in the United States, including the number of doses and that vaccination is largely optional. "Multiple studies have shown the importance of a strong provider recommendation for increasing vaccination coverage," noted Lauri E. Markowitz, MD

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