September 20, 2007
Merck Says Gardasil Works Better Than They Thought
A new study by Merck, the makers of Gardasil, has found that Gardasil protects against more strains of HPV than previously thought.
The vaccine was previously known to protect against four strains of the virus - 16, 18, 6, and 11. The new study shows that it may also protect against 10 other strains of the virus.
Despite the new findings that show increased protection, doctors point to an important limitation of the vaccine — it is only 39 percent effective against lesions caused by these other strains of HPV. The majority of that efficacy was seen in just two of the other 10 strains, notes Harper.
However, physicians are still optimistic about the new findings and hope additional coverage will eventually help reduce cervical cancer rates.
September 19, 2007
1 in 10 Girls Under 16 in England Infected with HPV
A study in England by the Health Protection Agency has found that 1 in 10 girls under 16 in England are infected with the HPV virus.
The agency tested blood samples from 1,483 girls and women aged 10-29 years for types of the virus that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.
The results, presented at the agency's annual conference in Warwick today, showed that the risk of infection rises sharply from the age of 14.
The study was done in the wake of recommendations that 12 and 13 year old girls be vaccinated against the HPV virus.