HPV vaccine could reduce cervical cancer

The new HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9, could reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality if adopted widely across the United States, according to a study by Yale researchers led by David P. Durham, Ph.D., associate research scientist in epidemiology. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country and the primary cause of cervical cancer. The study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences—which considered 10 types of HPV, demographics of each state, age, sexual behavior, and state-specific vaccine policy—found that the new vaccine could reduce cervical cancer incidence by 73 percent, compared to 63 percent with the old vaccine. It could also reduce mortality by 49 percent versus 43 percent. And, the analysis showed, the cost would be the same as or less than that of the old vaccine. Study authors suggest that states could benefit if they all got on board for a uniform vaccination policy, since people often move between states. The authors also showed that the most cost-efficient way to implement the vaccine is to increase funding to the states with low coverage.