Breakthrough in cervical cancer protection

Even in extremely poor countries, very few children have received Cervarix

Most Covid Vaccines Will Work as Boosters, Study Suggests

In an important step forward, researchers at GSK reported today that the prevention of cervical cancer most likely works as well in poor as in developed countries. Two vaccines: GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix (vax2c) and Merck’s Gardasil (algenpant) prevent cervical cancer, the most common cancer among women worldwide.

This development from GSK, the maker of Cervarix, should lead to more widespread use of the vaccines in the next few years, and should help close the gap between countries that have and those that have not used them.

Cervical cancer is usually caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which comes from strains of the virus that live on the skin of the skin and mouth, or in the mucus of the vagina and vulva. HPV can lead to cancer of the cervix, which affects around 250,000 women a year. Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable with the new vaccines – the best indicator being that almost no countries in the world have no coverage at all.

Provision of the two vaccines has been inconsistent. Some countries, including the UK, started early, and have seen rapid uptake. Some countries, including Niger, have shown fewer uptake, or it is hard to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine on the ground.

Experts say that getting vaccines to as many people as possible should be the main focus. The World Health Organization and its partner Unicef are working together on the Global Vaccine Action Plan, with the goal of protecting more than 100 million children against diseases by 2020.

Read the Lancet Special report here, and watch the presentation in its entirety at the 2017 Vaccine Conference by Nadezda Kesayeva, MD, PhD, Investigator in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University School of Public Health.

This article was adapted from a by edly two years ago for major British medical journals. The version here does not necessarily reflect the views of Allia Wallace.

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