The HPV Vaccine Works. Go Figure.

Despite the almost maniacal hysteria from the right wing, a new study has found that use of the HPV vaccine cut rates of HPV infection in teenage girls by more than half, even with only about one-third of them getting the full vaccine treatment (it requires three shots).

Infections with the human papillomavirus tied to cervical cancer fell by more than half in U.S. teen girls after the HPV vaccine was introduced in 2006, despite high-profile controversy — and low rates of uptake, a new study shows…

Even now, only about a third of U.S. teen girls ages 13 to 17 have had the full series of shots that prevent HPV infection, despite repeated studies that show the vaccine is safe and effective, said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other countries, including places such as Rwanda, have higher HPV vaccination rates than the U.S., he added.

“The report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates,” said Frieden. “These are striking results because we can protect the next generation of adolescents and girls against cancer.”

Rates of HPV infection targeted by the vaccine fell from 11.5 percent in 2003 to 2006 to 5.1 percent from 2007 to 2010 in girls and women ages 14 to 19, a decline of 56 percent, according to new data published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. The effectiveness of getting at least 1 shot in the three-dose series was 82 percent, the study concluded.

And no, Michele Bachmann, it does not cause mental retardation. After all, you didn’t get the vaccine.

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  • Randomfactor

    And among its observed side effects you do NOT see increased promiscuity.

  • matty1

    How is this even an issue? There are actually people who think letting other people get sick is a good thing, I don’t even understand what they think the issue is. When someone claims gay marriage leads to the zombie apocalypse or abortion is murder I can understand what they are afraid of even if I don’t agree but this is something else, what bad thing is meant to happen from girls being protected from a virus.

  • eric

    I predict someone will sue because it works. Sometime in the next 5 years, some fundie will argue:

    1. Vaccinations must be made illegal for everyone because

    2. Other kids getting vaccinated has reduced his kid’s chance of getting it, and

    3. This “damages” her by increasing her future, speculative promiscuity.

  • Typical liberals, letting some unelected Big Government bureaucrat get in between Americans and cancer! Opposite of Death Panels! Opposite of Death Panels!

    This isn’t about best results. This is about morality. A woman’s first HPV infection should be between her and her husband, as God intended.

  • eric

    what bad thing is meant to happen from girls being protected from a virus.

    AIUI, there is less of a chance of getting cancer from sexual activity and thus, they’ll have more sex. Having more sex is the ‘bad thing.’

    Even if the logic was right (it isn’t) and the ethics of the argument was good (it isn’t), I can’t see how anyone could see this argument being practically relevant. To first order, zero percent of the population considers the risk of cancer when deciding whether to have sex. Given all the other potential consequences, this risk is in the noise.

  • John Pieret

    And no, Michele Bachmann, it does not cause mental retardation.

    Maybe not cause but the vaccine sure made Bachmann display her mental limitations.

  • Matty1, in addition to the promiscuity argument, there’s a strong anti-vaccine component to the resistance. There are some people that really believe that vaccines cause all sorts of evil things. [I kid you not, Gardasil was blamed for a teen getting killed while a passenger in a car crash]

  • D. C. Sessions

    A woman’s first HPV infection should be between her and her husband, as God intended.

    OK, Modus — ya got me. This was one of your best.

  • shay

    Remember that anti-vaccination hysteria is an equal-opportunity lunacy — it is shared by wingnuts on both the right and the left.

    Granted, the icky-sex factor seems to bring out more of the right end of the spectrum crazies.

  • lofgren

    B-b-but the only reason I supported the HPV vaccine was to create a generation of hot teenage nymphos! My plot to get laid by barely legal teen sluts has been foiled again! Curses!

  • matty1:

    It’s all about slut-shaming. Remember, the entire abstinence only strategy is if you have sex outside of marriage all kinds of horrible things will happen to you: pregnancy, cancer, AIDS, etc. And nothing! except Jesus will protect you from those things. Like condoms and the pill, the vaccine takes some of those horrible consequences away and thus their plan to create an entire generation of sexually dysfunctional young people will be foiled!

  • Myoo

    And no, Michele Bachmann, it does not cause mental retardation. After all, you didn’t get the vaccine.

    Could you not do this? You’re one step away from calling her a retard. Disabilities do not cause someone to be a hateful person like Bachmann, so please stop conflating the two.

  • “The HPV vaccine works.”

    So do hydrogen bombs. Do you want to give them to “the children?”

  • ReneeHendricks

    The medical community needs to make this available and very promoted for boys as well. My guy just dealt with radiation therapy having been diagnosed with throat/neck cancer. It was caused by the HPV virus. I will be taking my son in over the next month or so to have this vaccination and hope it’s covered by insurance.

  • dingojack

    Here‘s a graph showing long-term trends in cervical cancers in several countries. Note the HPV vaccine became available in the early 1990’s.


  • matthewhodson

    A vaccine against a cancer causing virus – awesome.

    Would it be even better if both males and females were vaccinated?

  • ReneeHendricks

    And yet, Dingo, this is happening:

    “The incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer has increased during the past 20 years, especially among men. It has been estimated that, by 2020, HPV will cause more oropharyngeal cancers than cervical cancers in the United States.”


  • matty1

    @16 Try this, points to note are

    Only one of the vaccines (Gardasil) has been tested and licensed for use in males.

    CDC recommends Gardasil for all boys aged 11 or 12 years, and for males aged 13 through 21 years, who did not get any or all of the three recommended doses when they were younger. All men may receive the vaccine through age 26, and should speak with their doctor to find out if getting vaccinated is right for them.