On October 5, 2018 the FDA approved use of the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine in males and females ages 27-45, expanding the previous indication that covered from ages 9-26. Gardasil 9 prevents infections with the “high risk” HPV types most commonly found in a number of cancers worldwide, including cervical cancer. The vaccine also protects against “low risk” HPV types associated with most cases of genital warts.
HPV infections are common and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 14 million Americans are diagnosed with HPV each year. While most HPV infections are harmless and clear naturally, the sheer number of cases make it a key public health priority. In the U.S. about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer each year and the burden is much higher globally. “High risk” HPV types also are associated with vulvar, vaginal, anal, penile, and many head and neck cancers.
To learn more about the HPV vaccine check out the FDA’s press announcement.
For resources and support for HPV and cervical cancer check out NCCC.