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If you need more reasons to get an HPV vaccine: here they are.

August 20, 2018

 

 

Immunity, because of vaccination, is the best way we have of protecting ourselves and out children from the HPV virus and the cancers it causes, and the protection against HPV associated genital warts. These viruses are transmitted sexually, and are still extremely common in our population.

 

1. High risk HPV that persist is the cause of cervical, vaginal, vulvar, urethral, rectal, oral, pharyngeal,  and anal cancers.

 

2. Vaccination is the best way for women and men to protect themselves from cervical and penile cancer.

 

3. Vulvar and vaginal cancers are also caused by high risk HPV types.

 

4. There is no screening test like the cervical pap smear for anal, vulvar, or penile cancers, so prevention is a much better strategy than trying to screen a population for pre-cancerous lesions.

 

5. There are many HPV types and not all are protected against by vaccination, an important reason to still practice safe sex.

 

6. Early cancers have no actual symptoms, examinations are an important way to detect cancer.

 

7. Vaginal and Vulvar cancers are rare, but increasing. More reason to get vaccinated against them.

 

The newest version of the vaccine Gardasil has now more protection than ever and one less shot to make it even easier.  The vaccine has both gotten stronger and easier to administer. Getting us closer to the dream of eliminating cervical cancer. Gardasil 9 is easier to administer as  now we are requiring only 2 doses instead of 3 to be protected.  We have known for many years, since the earliest vaccine research, that the vaccine protects boys as well from both warts and genital cancers, and that protecting both boys and girls helps protect their partners in the future. Now the Pediatric society has come out with strong recommendations regarding vaccination of boys as well. Making this part of routine vaccine schedules helps practices and families comply with the recommendation. 

 

Our US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December of 2015 approved this version of the HPV vaccine Gardasil 9, a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine from Merck that prevents cancers and other lesions, such as genital warts, caused by one of nine HPV types, five more than the original Gardasil protected against. There is virtually 100% protection of the HPV type you get in this vaccine if you have not yet been exposed to that virus already. The first vaccine protected against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18. Gardasil 9 covers these as well as types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. These latter five are currently responsible for roughly one in five cases of cervical cancer. In the earlier vaccine there was some cross protection of other viruses, and since there are 14 HR types of HPV we can project some cross protection there as well. Gardasil is indicated  for girls and boys ages 9-26. Gardasil 9 is given on the same schedule. There is no indication to repeat Gardasil if you have had the earliest version of the shot. And the risks are both low, and unchanged from the first Gardasil vaccination.

As per Medscape web site Gardasil 9 is indicated in females aged nine through 26 years for the prevention of:

  • Cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancer caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

  • Genital warts caused by types 6 and 11

  • Various precancerous or dysplastic lesions of the cervix, vulva, vagina, and anus caused by types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

It is also indicated in males aged nine through 15 years for:

  • Anal cancer caused by types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

  • Genital warts caused by types 6 and 11

  • Anal intraepithelial neoplasia grades 1, 2, and 3 caused by types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.

 

More information on today's decision is available on the CDC or the  FDA's website .

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