HPV Vaccinations Provides Herd Immunity

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HPV Vaccinations Provides Herd Immunity

The human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) providesِ a benefit toِ women evenِ if theyِ areِ not vaccinated, viaِ a phenomenon knownِ asِ herd immunity, a newِ study suggests.
This decrease inِ HPV prevalence wasِ seenِ among bothِ vaccinated andِ unvaccinated women, theِ researchers said.
The findings show thatِ evenِ with relativelyِ lowِ rates ofِ women gettingِ vaccinated, theِ vaccine produces someِ degree ofِ herd immunity — protection ofِ unvaccinated people thatِ occurs becauseِ a critical portion ofِ the population hasِ beenِ vaccinated.

Herd immunity

The firstِ HPV vaccine, called Gardasil andِ manufactured byِ Merck, wasِ licensed forِ use inِ the United States inِ June 2006.
To study theِ effect ofِ the vaccine, Kahn andِ colleagues analyzed information fromِ two groups ofِ sexually active women ages 13 toِ 26.
The secondِ group consisted ofِ 409 women whoِ visited theِ clinics betweenِ 2009 andِ 2010, aboutِ 60 percent ofِ whom hadِ received atِ least oneِ ofِ the threeِ shots inِ the HPV-vaccination series.

Good news

The study isِ good news thatِ comesِ surprisingly soon, saidِ Dr.
William Schaffner, chairman ofِ the department ofِ preventive medicine atِ Vanderbilt University.
Schaffner saidِ heِ would haveِ expected a larger portion ofِ the population needed toِ beِ vaccinated, including boys, toِ seeِ herd immunity.

It’s impressive if other studies can confirm it, Schaffner said.

 The study isِ a reminder thatِ vaccination isِ not justِ aboutِ the individuals gettingِ vaccinated…it’s aboutِ everyone elseِ in theِ community, Schaffner said.
Paul Offit, director ofِ the Vaccine Education Center atِ the Children’s Hospital ofِ Philadelphia, saidِ heِ would expect toِ seeِ herd immunity againstِ the strains inِ the vaccine starting atِ a vaccination rate ofِ 40 percent, whichِ isِ the national average.
The vaccine’s effectiveness inِ reducing HPV prevalence isِ expected toِ translate intoِ a decrease inِ cervical cancer inِ the community, Kahn said.

The study is published in the July 9 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Pass itِ on:  Despite a lowِ vaccinate rate withِ theِ HPV vaccine, researchers areِ starting toِ seeِ the vaccine provide herd immunity.
This story wasِ providedِ byِ MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site toِ LiveScience.
Follow Rachael Rettner onِ Twitter @RachaelRettner, orِ MyHealthNewsDaily @MyHealth_MHND.