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HPV Vaccine May Provide Men with Herd Immunity against Oral HPV Infections

, by DCEG Staff

Infographic illustrating: between 2009-2016, oral HPV infections among unvaccinated men dropped 37%.
Credit: National Cancer Institute

The potential benefits of vaccines are twofold: In addition to directly protecting those who get the vaccine, they also protect those who don’t. The latter, a phenomenon called herd immunity, occurs as more and more people get vaccinated, further restricting the ease with which the disease-causing germ can spread.

Now a new study suggests that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may be providing men with herd immunity against HPV infections of the throat. Oral HPV infections cause over 70% of all oropharyngeal cancers in the United States, and rates of these cancers in men have skyrocketed over the past several decades.

Read the full NCI Cancer Currents blog post.

Chatuvedi AK, et al. Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection in Unvaccinated Men and Women in the United States, 2009-2016. JAMA. Sept 10, 2019. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2019.10508. [Epub before print].

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