Widespread immunization program has a ripple effect which extends far beyond protecting those who received the vaccine. Once a large number of people have been vaccinated, there are limited opportunities where infected carriers to transient infection to people who are already immunized. In addition, there are a decreased number of people who have the infection that can potentially infect them.
Up to 15 different HPV types can induce cancer.
Herd immunity refers to the protection of a non-immunized person.
The goal is that the future generation of children and young adults will immerge who have no evidence of HPV infection.
Genital warts occur much more frequently than cervical cancer. The number of people with genital warts and the number of visits required to treat them is vastly greater than the number of people who have cervical cancer. The cost of treating genital warts is enormous. Less attention has been focused on genital warts because they are looked at as being not cancer producing and self-limiting, but they are a very real problem and are a source of concern to those people who have them.
Although there have been reports of the HPV vaccine offering cross protection to certain specific HPV strains which were not contained in the vaccine, not all high-risk HPV infections will be prevented by the current vaccines which are available (Cervarix®, Gardasil®).
The early health economic models focus on HPV infections with the approach of preventing cervical disease and cervical warts is limited. The tests which have studied the effectiveness of HPV vaccine against oral and anal cancers in men and women for preventing anal and rectal cancers and genital warts in men and women as well as cancers of the oropharynx in both sexes are ongoing. Economic models which study the cost and benefit of controlling the incidence of non-cervical disease (cancer of the anus, rectum, oropharynx, penis) are ongoing.