The STI Clinic News > Gardasil 9 Launched to Tackle HPV
# Sunday, 25 January 2015
Posted: Sunday, 25 January 2015 | Categories: HPV

Gardasil 9 is the latest vaccine on the market for the prevention of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV- one of the most common sexually transmitted viruses around today), and five more HPV strains than the previous Gardasil vaccine and it is thought that number 9 will prevent against 90% of cervical, vaginal, vulvar and anal cancers. It was only on December 10th of 2014 that the US Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine which is now available for use in males aged between 9 and 15 years and females aged between 9 and 26 years.

The strains covered by this particular vaccine include HPV strains 16, 18, 33, 45, 52 and 58, and now include, strains 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. These added strains are thought to contribute to 20% of cervical cancers. This is an exciting time for HPV research since the results of the study, that led to the approval of this vaccine, involved a massive, 14,000 women who were not diagnosed with the virus and who were between the ages of 16 and 26. They had either received the original Gardasil or number 9. The study gleaned that Gardasil 9 was a whopping 97% as effective as the original in preventing against strains 6,11,16, and 18.

The safety of the new vaccine was assessed among approximately 13,000 men and women and the most common reactions and side effects included headache, swelling, redness and pain at the site of injection. No serious side effects were reported.

There are about 40 different types of genital HPV and some strains can cause genital warts, others cause cancer in men and women. Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix, another HPV vaccine, are effectively the first vaccinations we have had against cancer. But still there is debate about whether or not the vaccine is a help or a hindrance in terms of promiscuity among teenage girls.

Public debate myopically focuses on the idea that vaccinated girls and women feel a false sense of security, and are more open to risky sexual behaviours, such as not using condoms, or having sex with multiple partners. This false sense of security, some people believe, will lead to an increase in the number of unexpected pregnancies and STIs across the board.

A recent population based, retrospective study, set out to examine the effects of the vaccination on sexual behaviour among grade 8 adolescent girls in Ontario. 128,712 girls were eligible for vaccination within the first 2 years of it being offered. This group was compared to the grade 8 group from 2 years before this, and who were not eligible for the program. The study’s participants were observed for 4.5 years, approximately, and data was collected. The study’s authors gleaned that there was no statistically significant increase in the risk of sexual behaviour with regards to the HPV vaccination.

It is obvious that parents and teachers need to be educated on the topic of HPV and vaccination, an opportunity that was not available to people publicly until recently, an option that is still not available to the young male population in certain countries at all. We have a lot to learn about this relatively new vaccination but what we do know is that it definitely has the potential to prevent against cancers that are related to the HPV virus.

You can read more about this at NewsMaxHealth.


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