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HPV Vaccine’s Effectiveness Remains High Amidst Uptake Concerns

HPV vaccine continues to be highly effective as concern grows over falling uptake: New data released today by the Office for National Statistics has shown that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme is up to 95% effective in preventing cervical cancer.

The HPV virus causes 99% of cervical cancers and also can cause other types of cancer. It is administered to school children aged 12-13.

The vaccine has proven to be highly effective, with studies showing that the prevalence of the virus dropped dramatically to less than 1% in vaccinated women, and that cervical cancer was almost eliminated.

Despite the effectiveness of the vaccine, uptake has failed to meet pre-pandemic levels with coverage falling across England. In November NHS England pledged to eliminate cervical cancer by 2040.

Commenting on the release of the data, William Roberts, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said:

“The HPV vaccination programme is a success story of public health prevention. It is a simple, safe and effective intervention that is having dramatic results. When we think big on public heath, the results are transformative.

This vaccine has the potential to save and improve the lives of thousands of children by giving them a life free of cancer. As well as saving the health service money, the vaccine will prevent the children of today, as they grow up, from having to deal with the immense physical and emotional hardship that cancer has on people and their loved ones.

Like all vaccines, its success wholly depends on continued uptake. That’s why it’s disappointing to see vaccination rates falling among children. Like many in the public health community, we are concerned about the long-term implications this could have.  We know that young people overwhelmingly trust vaccines and we need to find ways to make it as simple as possible to get jabbed. This is a trend that we can and need to reverse to protect the health of future generations.”

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