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HPV Vaccination Shows Promise in 10-Year Study on Effectiveness, Herd Immunity


A new study finds evidence that the cancer-preventing vaccine to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV) has been effective in a community setting in offering protection against strains of the virus and in offering herd protection since it was introduced 11 years ago. The study, “Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Effectiveness and Herd Protection in Young Women,” published in the February issue of Pediatrics (published online Jan. 22), examined trends in HPV in the Cincinnati area from 2006 to 2017. Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital analyzed information gathered from 1,580 women ages 13-26 who were sexually experienced and enrolled in four different studies. The study noted significant decreases in various strains of HPV among women who were vaccinated with the 4-valent and 9-valent HPV vaccine types. The study also found that the prevalence of 4-valent and 9-valent vaccine-types of HPV decreased significantly among unvaccinated women, which suggested herd protection or community immunity. The authors suggest further research is needed to examine trends in the 9-valent vaccine-type HPV after higher rates of vaccination are achieved. HPV infections may cause genital warts and cancers, and in women, may cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal and oropharyngeal cancers. In men, infection may cause anal, penile and oropharyngeal cancers.

Editor’s Note: A solicited commentary, “Three Important Findings from a Study HPV on ‘Real World’ Effectiveness” will be published in the same issue of Pediatrics.


The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds