vaccine to fight human papillomavirus has proven to be
released in Pediatrics shows a sharp decrease in the number of
HPV cases within the six years since the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention introduced the HPV vaccine — a 64
percent decrease in 4vHPV type prevalence among females aged
14 to 19 years and a 34 percent decrease among those aged 20
to 24 years.
information reinforces the impact of the vaccine," says
Mayo Clinic family medicine physician Dr. Summer Allen.
"What’s even more impressive is the decrease in the HPV
prevalence when our vaccination coverage rates remain
offers more insight on the vaccine.
exposure risk to HPV is real," Allen says. "One out
of four in the U.S. will be infected with at least one strain
of HPV, and the vaccine is an opportunity to protect
themselves against some of the high-risk types associated with
2014, the 9-valent (9vHPV) form became available, which covers
the four HPV types in the previous quadrivalent vaccine plus
an additional five types also considered high-risk types of
HPV. The vaccine is a three-part series, though as the study
showed, at least one dose is better than none at all. For
female patients, obtaining the HPV vaccine series does not
replace the need for recommended cervical cancer screening
with a Pap smear, which starts at age 21," says Allen.
common concern I have heard from patients and health care
colleagues regarding the HPV vaccine is that, ‘If I give it
to them’ or ‘If I recommend the vaccine,’ then ‘I’m
saying it is OK to become sexually active.’ This is far from
the truth — the HPV vaccine series is given to prevent
cancer," says Allen.
SHOULD RECEIVE THE HPV VACCINE
is licensed starting at age 9 for both females and males.
Since many adolescents are seen between ages 11 to 13 when the
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) and meningococcal
vaccines are recommended, this is a great time to have a
discussion regarding the vaccine with their health care team
and start the series," says Allen.
the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United
States, and the CDC estimates 80 million Americans are
currently infected. There are more than 100 variations of HPV,
often referred to as low risk (can cause warts) and high-risk
(may cause various forms of cancer). HPV can cause over 17,000
cancers in women, and over 9,000 cancers in men each year.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer linked to HPV.