HPV Vaccines Render 'High-Certainty' of Precancer Protection

Human papillomavirus vaccines reduced the risk of cervical precancer associated with HPV 16 or 18

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According to a meta-analysis conducted by the Cochrane Library, there is ‘high-certainty evidence’ that human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines protect women aged 15 to 26 against cervical precancer.

Additionally, the vaccine’s protective effect was higher for lesions associated with HPV16/18, than for lesions irrespective of HPV type.

According to the review, the HPV vaccine reduced the risk of cervical precancer associated with HPV 16 or 18 from 341 to 157 per 10,000 women and reduced the risk for any precancer lesions from 559 to 391 per 10,000.

But, the HPV vaccine’s protection effects diminished among older women, aged 25 to 45.

Most importantly, these researchers did not find an increased risk of serious adverse effects from the HPV vaccine.

This review involving 73,428 women looked at 26 studies over 8 years to see if bivalent and quadrivalent HPV vaccines protected women from cervical cancer.

These researchers said longer-term follow-up is needed to monitor the impact on cervical cancer, the occurrence of rare harms and pregnancy outcomes.

Human papillomaviruses are sexually transmitted and are common in young people.

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Usually, they are cleared naturally by the immune system.

However, when high-risk (hr) types persist, they can cause the development of abnormal cervical cells, which are referred to as cervical precancer if at least two-thirds of the surface layer of the cervix is affected.

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Precancer can develop into cervical cancer after several years.

Not everyone who has cervical precancer goes on to develop cervical cancer but predicting who will is difficult.

There are a number of different hrHPV types which can cause cervical precancer and cancer.

HPV16 and 18 are the most important high-risk types since they cause about 70% of cervical cancers worldwide.

Preventive vaccination, by injection of HPV virus-like particles in the muscle, triggers the production of antibodies which protect against future HPV infections.

In the USA, there are 2 prophylactic HPV vaccines licensed and each vaccine confers protection against HPV types 16 and 18.

These HPV vaccines can be found in most pharmacies.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides HPV vaccine prices for general information.

And vaccine discounts can be found here.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.