HPV vaccine better than expected at shielding against cancer. Why are anti-vaxxers fighting it?

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Image: GoodRx

New research shows that the HPV vaccine is exceeding expectations in protecting individuals from HPV infection and precancerous cells. 

So why is it also becoming a key target of many anti-vaxxers?


First, [Ob/Gyn Abbey Berenson] noted that many don’t realize the magnitude of the risk from HPV infection. “More than 80 percent of sexually active individuals will acquire an infection during their lifetime,” Berenson told me. Once they have the virus, many will clear it without further issues, but the virus lingers in about 10 percent of infected women and can lead to precancerous cervical lesions. 

Then there’s the idea that the vaccine hasn’t been tested enough. “Though it has been on the market in the U.S. for 13 years, there is the misconception that the vaccine is still ‘new,’” notes Berenson. Yet there are newer vaccines that lack such controversy, including several of the vaccines that prevent meningitis.

And finally, people may think that because protection is not perfect, it’s not worth getting.


We have a vaccine that prevents an assortment of cancers, but we cannot allow misinformation and anti-scientific mumbo jumbo to slow our progress. 

Read full, original post: The HPV vaccine is on trial as anti-vaxxers mobilize against effective cancer prevention

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