Human Papillomavirus or HPV Vaccination prevents infection by certain types of human papillomavirus. The available vaccines today protect individuals against either two (CERVARIX), four (GARDASIL-4), or nine (GARDASIL-9) types of HPV. All vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18, which cause the greatest risk of cervical cancer. It is estimated that the vaccines may prevent 70% of cervical cancer, 80% of anal cancer, 60% of vaginal cancer, 40% of vulvar cancer and possibly some oral and throat cancer.
HPV Vaccination Recommendations – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- HPV vaccination is recommended routinely at age 11 or 12 years. (Vaccination can be started at age 9.)
- The Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) also recommends vaccination for everyone through age 26 years if not adequately vaccinated previously. HPV vaccination is given as a series of either two or three doses, depending on age at initial vaccination.
- Vaccination is NOT recommended for everyone older than age 26 years. However, some adults ages 27 through 45 years may decide to get the HPV vaccine based on discussion with their clinician, if they did not get adequately vaccinated when they were younger. HPV vaccination of people in this age range provides less benefit, for several reasons, including that more people in this age range have already been exposed to HPV.
- For adults ages 27 through 45 years, clinicians can consider discussing HPV vaccination with people who are most likely to benefit. HPV vaccination does not need to be discussed with most adults over age 26 years. See ACIP’s shared clinical decision-making FAQs.
In Australia, HPV Vaccination has been included in their National Immunization Program. Almost all of their schools have chosen to participate in the National HPV Vaccination Program.
Over 9 million doses of the vaccine have been given to girls and young women in Australia.
Research studies have shown early signs of the vaccine’s success including:
- A 77% reduction in HPV types responsible for almost 75% of cervical cancer
- Almost 50% reduction in the incidence of high-grade cervical abnormalities in Victorian girls under 18 years of age
- A 90% reduction in genital warts in heterosexual men and women under 21 years of age.
New research from Cancer Council NSW reveals Australia is set to become the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer following the success of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination program and the changes to the National Cervical Screening Program.  Presented at the International Papilloma Virus Conference (IPVC 2018) in Sydney and published in The Lancet Public Health, it has shown that if HPV vaccination and screening coverage are maintained at their current rates, cervical cancer is likely to be eliminated as a public health issue within 20 years.