A new study has revealed that there was a significant drop in Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) 16 and 18 infections among young women following the administration of HPV vaccine.
It found that HPV 16 and 18 infections, responsible for cervical cancer, decreased by 86% in women within the age group 16 to 21 who were eligible for the vaccination between 2010 and 2016 as adolescents.
This data, which indiciates that the vaccination programme can cause a significant reduction in cervical cancer cases in future, was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
One of the most common forms of cancer found in women aged under 35, cervical cancer kills around 850 women per year.
Public Health England (PHE) head of Immunisations Mary Ramsay said: “These results are very promising and mean that in years to come we can expect to see significant decreases in cervical cancer, which is currently one of the biggest causes of cancer in women under 35.
“This study also reminds us how important it is to keep vaccination rates high to reduce the spread of this preventable infection.
“I encourage all parents of girls aged 12 to 13 to make sure they take up the offer for this potentially life-saving vaccine.”
Since its launch in 2008, more than 80% people aged between 15 to 24 have been vaccinated under the HPV vaccination programme.
The programme has also resulted into a drop in genital wart diagnoses, which are caused by some low-risk strains of HPV.
Between 2009 and 2017, the number of genital wart diagnoses in sexual health clinics among girls and boys aged 15 to 17 dropped by 89% and by 70%, respectively.
Furthermore, the study reported substantial fall in the prevalence of HPV31, HPV33 and HPV45.