01 Nov HPV Vaccine to Prevent Cervical Cancer Most Effective Before Sexual Debut
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Didem Egemen PhD
Statistician, Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics
National Cancer Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Persistent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, is the cause of virtually all cervical cancers. Various studies have reported high effectiveness of HPV vaccination in preventing HPV infection and cervical cancer, particularly when administered at early ages.
In this study, we looked at the proportion of females eligible for vaccination (<26 years of age in 2006 when the vaccine was FDA approved) who were unvaccinated, vaccinated against HPV before sexual debut, and vaccinated after debut. Then we estimated the prevalence of HPV 16 and 18, the two HPV genotypes that cause most cervical cancers, in each subset.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: We have found that while HPV vaccination after sexual debut reduces HPV 16/18 prevalence by 41% compared to unvaccinated females, vaccination pre-debut virtually eliminates HPV 16/18 infections. Among females who had been eligible to receive the HPV vaccine as part of their routine vaccination (between ages 9 and 12), only 56% were eventually vaccinated, with 41% of those vaccinated receiving their first dose after sexual debut.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: To ensure maximum effectiveness from vaccination, physicians should follow ACIP recommendations for routine vaccination between 9 and 12 years of age.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a results of this study?
Response: The COVID-19 pandemic may have affected vaccine uptake, therefore further studies are needed to determine whether similar trends persist in the 2020s.
All authors have no conflict of interest.
Egemen D, Katki HA, Chaturvedi AK, Landy R, Cheung LC. Variation in Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Effectiveness in the US by Age at Vaccination. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(10):e2238041. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.38041
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