Vaccination

  • Primary prevention of HPV-related diseases is possible by the use of prophylactic vaccination. Currently three prophylactic vaccines have been licensed by the FDA and the EMA.

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  • When given to HPV uninfected young women, all vaccines are close to 100% effective against persistent infection with vaccine types. Originally these vaccines were licensed for the prevention of cervical cancer / anogenital warts. Since the original licensure, registration has been extended to men as well as precursors of other cancers.

  • Since licensure of the vaccines, several observational studies have indicated effectiveness of the vaccines against anogenital warts, HPV (persistent) infections, precursor lesions and recently also cervical cancer.

  • Initially, HPV vaccination was only licensed when administered as a three doses series. In 2014, evidence emerged that a 2-dose regimen in adolescents up to 14 years of age provides similar immune responses as a 3-dose regimen. Consequently, the WHO and several national programs changed their recommendation from 3-dose to 2-dose vaccination for girls age < 15 years.

  • Since 2008, 31 European countries have introduced HPV vaccination in routine immunization programs.

  • Over 10 European countries have included men in their immunization program, which will have a direct beneficial effect on HPV-related disease in men, as well as an indirect effect on cervical cancer by reducing the HPV prevalence in the general population.