Education Archive

Controversy brews over benefits of screening a population vaccinated against HPV

Controversy has arisen over the potential impact on cervical cancer rates of reduced screening in a population vaccinated against HPV. A recent modeling study reported in The Lancet Infectious Diseases suggests that introduction of the vaccine is unlikely to lead to an increased incidence of cervical cancer as a result of diminished screening.

However, a Finnish group disputes this conclusion by claiming that vaccinations alone will not prevent cervical cancer unless their efficacy is longer than 15 years. If the duration of efficacy is shorter and efficient boostering is not organised, the onset of the cancer in women is merely postponed and rates of cervical cancer will ultimately increase.