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HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer by 62% among women finds Lancet study

Headlines 13:06 05 Nov, 2021

The vaccine similarly was successful in minimising the risk of the disease by 34 per cent in women aged between 16 and 18 years

HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer by 62% among women finds Lancet study

A breakthrough research, sponsored by the Cancer Research UK, has clinically established that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which was developed to protect women against cervical cancer is successful in reducing the risk of cancer by 62 per cent in women aged between 14 and 16 years.

The vaccine similarly was successful in minimising the risk of the disease by 34 per cent in women aged between 16 and 18 years. The research which has been published in the Lancet journal took into account all cervical cancer women patients aged between 20 and 64 years diagnosed in the United Kingdom between January 2006 and June 2019. The findings of the research are significant due to the fact that since the vaccine’s introduction in the early 2000s only few recent studies have confirmed the efficacy of the vaccine against cervical cancer.

The research shows that the HPV vaccination along with cervical cancer screening reduces the infection to an extent where no one develops the cancer. The research also showed that over a period of 11 years since 2006, the vaccine played a major role in preventing around 450 cases of cervical cancers and over 17k cases of precancerous conditions. Buoyed by the successful results of the vaccine, the Health department of the United Kingdom extended the administration of the vaccine also to boys aged about 12-13 years old in 2018.

The HPV vaccine is primarily administered to young boys and girls in their teenage years to ensure that they are vaccinated against the disease before they make any sexual contact. An Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention study has found that the primary hindrance to HPV vaccination is financial as the vaccines are expensive.

As per the guidelines of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Immunization (IAPCOI) HPV vaccines are administered in the form of a two-dose regimen for girls below 14 years of age. For girls who are aged above 15, the vaccine is to be administered in a three-dose regimen.