Since the start of the HPV vaccination program, HPV human papillomavirus infections are less common in unvaccinated women and heterosexual men as well as in vaccinated women. There is group protection. This is evident from Petra Woestenberg’s doctoral research into the effects of the HPV vaccination for girls that was started in 2009 within the National Immunization Program.
Girls receive an invitation for HPV vaccination in the year they turn 13. This means they are well protected against the 2 types of HPV (16 and 18) for at least 8 years after vaccination. These types cause 70% of all cervical cancer cases. Woestenberg’s research also shows that the vaccine protects against a number of other types of HPV that can also cause cancer. This is called cross protection. It also appears that the existing vaccine provides partial protection against anogenital warts.
The data up to 8 years after the start of the vaccination program shows that there is group protection: HPV infections from HPV16 and 18 and the types for which cross protection has been shown are less common in heterosexual men. Protection against the HPV types in the vaccine has been shown in unvaccinated women.
Woestenberg based her thesis on data from the PASSYON study. In this study, which started at the same time as the HPV vaccination program, a cross-sectional survey is conducted every 2 years among young people aged 16-24 attending sexual health centers. They were tested for various types of HPV, among other things. On the basis of these data, the direct (individual) effect of the vaccination was measured and the extent to which the incidence of HPV infections in the population has changed.
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