HPV vaccine protects even young women who haven’t been vaccinated

The CDC recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine for all girls and boys ages 11 to 12, but says the vaccine can be given as early as age 9. Chicago Tribune / via Getty

(Linda Carol/ NBC News) –– There’s growing evidence that the HPV vaccine can protect even young women and girls who haven’t been immunized.

A new government study finds human papillomavirus infections have declined dramatically in both vaccinated and unvaccinated teen girls and young women.

Data from a national database reveal an 88 percent decline in the prevalence of the HPV strains targeted by the vaccine in girls ages 14 to 19 and an 81 percent decline in young women ages 20 to 24, compared to a time period before 2006, when the vaccine was released in the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported Thursday.

“This is really exciting,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Hannah Rosenblum, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC. “This report shows the high effectiveness of the vaccine.” (…)

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