A meta-analysis including 60 million individuals in high-income countries has discovered significant decreases in HPV infections, anogenital wart diagnoses and precancerous cervical lesions (CIN2+) over the 8–9 years following HPV vaccination.
The results, published in The Lancet, provide strong real-world evidence that the vaccination can prevent cervical cancer, backing the recent WHO position that multiple age groups should be vaccinated (as opposed to a single cohort) when introducing the vaccine. Moreover, the analysis shows the greater and faster impact and herd effects in countries with both multi-cohort vaccination and high vaccination coverage.
Author, Marc Brisson from Laval University (Quebec, Canada) commented: “The landscape of HPV vaccination is rapidly changing, with several countries recently switching from three to two-dose schedules, gender-neutral vaccination, and a newer vaccine that targets more HPV types.”
“It will be crucial to continue monitoring the population-level impact of HPV vaccination to examine the full effect of these changes in strategies and quantify the effect of vaccination in low-income and middle-income countries. Because of our finding, we believe the WHO call for action to eliminate cervical cancer may be possible in many countries if sufficient vaccination coverage can be achieved.”
This study is the first to demonstrated pooled estimates of population-level impact of HPV vaccination on CIN2+ from several countries, the benefit of the vaccination to more than one age group and the herd effects of vaccination in countries with high coverage.