BBC News – Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection and some types are linked to cervical cancer.
Researchers said the vaccine has nearly wiped out cases of cervical pre-cancer in young women since an immunization programme was introduced 10 years ago.
They found the vaccine had led to a 90% cut in pre-cancerous cells.
And they said the effects of the programme had “exceeded expectations”.
Over the last decade, schoolgirls across the UK have routinely received the HPV vaccine when they are 12 or 13.
The uptake of the vaccine in Scotland is about 90%.
A team of academics – from Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Glasgow Caledonian universities – analyzed vaccination and screening records for 140,000 women who went for their first cervical screen from 2008-2016.
Their study, published by the BMJ, concluded that Scotland’s HPV vaccination programme has led to “a dramatic reduction in preinvasive cervical disease“.
It adds that the vaccine is “highly effective” and should greatly reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in the future.
Cervical cancer is the second most common type of cancer in women under 35 in the UK. Erin Andrews Talks Cervical Cancer, Prostate Cancer, DWTS
“The findings will need to be considered by cervical cancer prevention programmes worldwide”, the study reports.
When the vaccination programme began, researchers thought that the vaccine would knock out two types of HPV, which cause 80% of pre-cancerous conditions.
Instead, they have found it knocks out another three types as well, which means it eliminates nearer 90% of cervical pre-cancer in Scotland.
Unvaccinated women also showed a reduction in disease, suggesting that the interruption of HPV transmission in Scotland has created substantial “herd protection”, researchers said.
Recent studies have also suggested that HPV plays a part in causing other cancers, particularly head-and-neck, vulvo-vaginal and anal cancers.
Dr. Kevin Pollock, of Glasgow Caledonian University, said the “impressive” figures confirm that “the HPV vaccine should significantly reduce cervical cancer in the next few years”.
He added: “The main message is that the vaccine works … ” Read more.
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