Remember the HPV vaccine? It really works.

Seems I just can’t stress this enough. “Prevalence of HPV After Introduction of the Vaccination Program in the United States“:

BACKGROUND: Since mid-2006, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been recommended for females aged 11 to 12 years and through 26 years if not previously vaccinated.

METHODS: HPV DNA prevalence was analyzed in cervicovaginal specimens from females aged 14 to 34 years in NHANES in the prevaccine era (2003–2006) and 4 years of the vaccine era (2009–2012) according to age group. Prevalence of quadrivalent HPV vaccine (4vHPV) types (HPV-6, -11, -16, and -18) and other HPV type categories were compared between eras. Prevalence among sexually active females aged 14 to 24 years was also analyzed according to vaccination history.

Do I even need to cover the background? We recommend the HPV vaccine for all kids now, but back in 2006, we started recommending it for girls age 11-12 years old. Does it work?

Researchers looked at NHANES data and specimens before the vaccine (2003-6) and after (2009-12), looking at HPV prevalence. Specifically, they were interested in the prevalence of the certain subtypes of HPV that the vaccine should prevent.

Before the vaccine era, the prevalence of these HPV subtypes was 11.5% in girls age 14-19 years; after, it was 4.3%. In women age 20-24 years, it declined from 18.5% to 12.1%. No changes occurred in older age groups.


The prevalence differed hugely depending on whether girls had been vaccinated. Among those who were unvaccinated, it was 16.9%. In those who were vaccinated, it was 2.1%,

Not enough girls are being vaccinated. About 40% of girls and 20% of boys age 13-17 are covered.

This is national data. Those who were vaccinated saw the prevalence of those subtypes of HPV drop dramatically. Those who weren’t, didn’t.

At what point can I drop the mic?


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