In the latest statistics published by Public Health England (PHE) on January 22, they report that there has been a dramatic collapse of HPV 16/18 infections in sexually active young women in England. These two types of papillomavirus are the cause of almost 70 percent of cervical cancers and precancerous lesions of the cervix. The results are due to the introduction of a mass vaccination program in educational institutions.
In a sample group of 584 women between the ages of 16 and 18, no HPV 16/18 infections were detected throughout 2018. By comparison, about 15 percent of young women became infected with these types HPV throughout 2008, the year in which the vaccination program was introduced. Although the sample size is relatively smaller, less than 600 people, the report suggests that the figures highlight a much wider decline in the virus in England.
“This is clear evidence of the success of our immunization program, which continues to achieve high coverage,” said Dr. Vanessa Saliba, a PHE consulting epidemiologist, in an official press release. For his part, Nicola Blackwood, the Minister of Health of this country added: “Our vaccination programs, leaders worldwide, are vital to protect young children and prevent the spread of a series of terrible diseases. It’s amazing to think that this vaccine helps us eradicate cervical cancer forever. ”
England’s figures are encouraging. Likewise, the HPV vaccination programs in Scotland have seen a very similar positive trend according to an article published in the British Medical Journal. And Australia is on its way to becoming the first country to eradicate cervical cancer in the next two decades, according to the International Papillomavirus Society.