Quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (4vHPV) type prevalence among females has decreased significantly since introduction of the vaccine in 2006, according to a new study.In the report “Prevalence of HPV After Introduction of the Vaccination Program in the United States,” researchers analyzed HPV DNA prevalence in cervicovaginal specimens self-collected by females ages 14-34 years who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (Markowitz LE, et al. Pediatrics. Feb. 22, 2016, http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/02/19/peds.2015-1968 ). They compared data from 2,587 females in 2003-’06 before HPV vaccine was recommended with data from 2,061 females in 2009-’12.
Results showed that in 2009-’12, the percentage of females who reported receiving at least one dose of HPV vaccine ranged from 3.3% of those ages 30-34 years to 51% of 14- to 19-year-olds.
From the prevaccine years to the vaccine era, the prevalence of 4vHPV types (6, 11, 16, 18) declined significantly among 14- to 19-year-olds (from 11.5% to 4.3%) and 20- to 24-year-olds (from 18.5% to 12.1%). Among sexually active females, prevalence rates were lower among those who received at least one dose of HPV vaccine than unvaccinated females (2.1% vs. 16.9%), indicating the vaccine was 89% effective in preventing 4vHPV types.
“Our data confirm previous findings of an early impact of HPV vaccination in the United States among females aged 14-19 years and extend the findings to females in their early 20s,” the authors stated.
The Academy recommends the three-dose HPV vaccine as part of routine immunization for males and females beginning at age 11 or 12 years, although it can be started as early as 9 years, according to the AAP Red Book. The vaccine now comes in a 9-valent formula that protects against additional types of cancer.
In the past 10 years, roughly 79 million doses of HPV vaccine have been distributed in the U.S. Some parents hesitate to get their child vaccinated because he or she is not sexually active. However, HPV can occur without intercourse, and vaccines have been found to be most effective when given at age 11 or 12.
Some parents also have expressed concerns about safety. The most common side effects are redness and soreness at the injection site, dizziness, syncope, nausea, headache and erythema. Contrary to some claims, the vaccines do not cause autoimmune disorders, premature ovarian failure or death.
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- PediaLink continuing medical education courses (free): Adolescent Immunizations: Strongly
Recommending the HPV Vaccine and Adolescent Immunizations: Office Strategies
- Information for parents about HPV