How Successful is Gardasil?

November 1, 2018

How effective is that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil? The outcomes of 2 followup studies involving Gardasil have been in. The findings that confirm it’s highly effective for preventing precancerous cervical lesions, especially for girls and young women who obtained it until they became sexually active.

What is the Gardasil Vaccine?

Gardasil is a vaccine that’s designed to prevent two strains of the human papillomavirus proven to cause cervical cancer (HPV-16 and HPV-18) and two strains known to cause genital warts (HPV-6 and HPV-11).

It is currently available to women as young as nine decades of age, but the goal age is 11 to 12. The vaccine could be given up till 26 years old.

The Gardasil vaccine has generated controversy for a lot of reasons. Some individuals are usually opposed to vaccines and also have fears about their effects. Other men and women are opposed to a vaccine which may stop a sexually-transmitted virus, because of their moral insecurities and worries about it being granted to younger girls. Scientists and the health community need to ensure that the vaccines they provide are effective in preventing illness and do not produce undesirable side effects. They continue to test them and study the people that have been vaccinated to see if the vaccine works and is secure.

What Did the Gardasil Studies Find?

Two Gardasil vaccine studies, titled Future I and Future II were featured in the May 10th, 2007, edition of The New England Journal of Medicine.

This journal publishes research papers as soon as they’ve been analyzed by peers that ensure the study published is of premium quality.  Here are some key findings from the of the Future I and Future II research on the Gardasil vaccine:

  • Gardasil was nearly 100 percent effective in preventing precancerous cervical lesions caused by the strains which Gardasil protects against. It provides protection from two strains known to cause 70 percent of cervical cancers and two breeds known to cause 90 percent of all warts.
  • The Future I research found that Gardasil can also be highly effective in preventing precancerous lesions that occur on or in the anus, vagina, and vulva.
  • Gardasil’s effectiveness increased when given to girls and young girls before they become sexually active.
  • Gardasil is less effective in preventing precancerous lesions in women already exposed to HPV strains 16 and 18 since you can’t vaccinate against an infection that is already present.

What Do the Gardasil Study Results Mean For You?

The findings of the studies support the use of the HPV vaccine, especially when given to young women before they become sexually active. Gardasil is extremely effective in preventing many (but not all) of those strains of HPV known to cause cervical cancer and genital warts. Therefore, Pap smears continue to be necessary. With the access to the HPV test and more information, the timing of Pap smears has been shifting. Check for the latest recommendations and discuss any issues with your health care provider.

  • The Best Way To Get a Pap Smear
  • Mature Women and Pap Smears
  • When Should a Woman Have Her Initial Pap Smear?