Cervical cancer vaccine program is a success

The first evidence has emerged that nationwide vaccination programmes for young women against HPV, the virus that triggers cervical cancer, are likely to cut the numbers who get the disease.

A study in Australia, one of the first countries to introduce the vaccination, has shown a drop in high-grade cervical abnormalities – changes to the cells in the neck of the womb that can be the precursor to cancer.

Australia introduced nationwide HPV (human papilloma virus) vaccination for women aged 12 to 26 from 2007.

While it will take many years to find out whether vaccination programmes definitely reduce the numbers of cervical cancers in the population, Australian scientists were able to analyse the results from their screening programme to find out whether there has been any drop in the number of young women with abnormal cell changes that are the precursor of cancer…

That finding, say the authors, “reinforces the appropriateness of the targeting of prophylactic HPV vaccines to pre-adolescent girls”…

In spite of worries that parents would refuse to have their daughters vaccinated against what is essentially a sexually-transmitted virus, the take-up has been good, according to figures from the Department of Health.

Well, that’s the case in the UK and, obviously, in Australia.

Meanwhile – here in the land of religious nutballs, spooky vaccination deniers and opportunist pundits and politicians, the uptake is more like negligible. While about 25% of girls targeted as the best vector for the vaccination received the first shot – the number receiving the full course of three shots is more like 11%.

Anyone surprised?

3 comments

  1. Ursa

    Since I am a ‘DES daughter’, I am not surprised. DES was a synthetic hormone supposed to help women carry a baby to term and to prevent miscarriages. It was distrubuted in the UK, Australia & the US for over 30 years until it was found that the daughters of these women had deformities of the sexual organs, problems conceiving and problems carrying a child to term. There are hundreds of thousands of ‘DES daughters’ who have learned to be leery of medical advances for women’s problems.

    • god

      Leery, yes. But, not sensible if you’re throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Rejecting all vaccines as plots for profitmaking by colluding scientists and corporations reads well in supermarket newspapers and campaigns by politicians on the religulous right. But, the history of virtually all medical intervention is grounded in responding to medical needs.

      Even failures like DES.

      I think Eid’s comment addresses the nutballs who reject sound science – which includes revisiting peer-reviewed conclusions over time. Which is after all how DES was proven to be more of a danger than a benefit.

      • Mr. Fusion

        I heard a few years ago a statistic that amazed me. America spent more on Prozac than it did on all vaccines combined. This might have been 10 y/a. Which is why there are few companies involved making vaccines today, there isn’t much profit.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s