Gardasil Vaccine- HPV
- Posted on Nov 1, 2016
It’s working! It has almost been 10 years since the HPV vaccine was recommended to help prevent HPV associated cancers. In 2015 at least one dose of the vaccine was given to 62% of girls and 49% of boys. And guess what is happening?
All grades of dysplasia (early stage of cancer cells) and neoplasia (cancer cells) related to the HPV virus have decreased and the decline is happening faster than predicted. The likely cause is herd immunity, which means that the more we vaccinate, the less likely someone will come in contact with a person carrying the Human Papillomavirus.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both women and men and is it estimated that 79 million Americans are infected every year. The HPV vaccines protect against the strains that can lead to cervical and oropharyngeal cancer.
The safety studies are reassuring. More than 90 million doses have been given of this vaccine in the US alone. We have three systems to monitor vaccine safety once a vaccine is licensed. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, the Vaccine Safety Datalink and the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment network. At Kids First, we report any adverse events and carefully monitor trends of new vaccines especially for any side effects noted. There have been NO serious safety concerns identified with this vaccine. Early reports of passing out (syncope) with this vaccine are related to a delayed pain response and these numbers have declined since we started providing more education about the expectations with this vaccine. (There is little pain associated with the needle but a burning pain happens several minutes after the administration that takes some teens by surprise). The other important fact is there seems to be no decrease in the immune response after 10 years of protection. That’s great news! Let’s stop cancer. Get your teen vaccinated!!