HPV Vaccine Update: October 2016

GlaxoSmithKline’s Cervarix was the first HPV vaccine on the market. It provided protection against the two most dangerous strains of the Human Papillomarvirus, 16 and 18. Since newer HPV vaccines have been developed, Cervarix will no longer be sold in theU.S.1                     

The latest HPV vaccine on the market helps protect against 9 different strains of the Human Papillomavirus. Gardasil 9 protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.  Most HPV cancers (74%) can be prevented with the vaccine. It is also estimated that the vaccine will prevent 90% of anogenital warts caused by HPV viruses.2

Prior to the FDA approval of Gardasil 9, MERK produced a quadravalent HPV vaccine with the trademark name of Gardasil. The quadravalent vaccine protects against HPV types, 6, 11, 16 and 18, which protects against 64% of all HPV-associated cancers and 90% of anogenital warts.2 The quadravalent vaccine by MERK is still available. Therefore, parents who would prefer to have the Gardasil 9 should ask which vaccine their provider is using.

Another change lies in the administration of the HPV vaccines.  Children or teens under the age of fifteen will receive the HPV vaccine in two doses rather than three. The interval between the two injections will be increased to 6 months. The decision is the result of clinical trials showing that younger adolescents (aged 9-14 years) produced immune responses with two doses of the vaccine that were the same as older adolescents receiving 3 doses.3

Medical Institute recommends that parents vaccinate both their male and female children with the HPV vaccines. MI believes that the choice to vaccinate belongs to the parents and should not be mandated by any government agency. Risk avoidance is always the best approach to prevention. Medical Institute encourages abstaining from all sexual activity outside of a mutually monogamous long-term relationship, such as marriage.


  1. Sagonowsky, Eric, “GSK exits market with its HPV vaccine Cervarix” FiercePharma, Oct 21, 2016. http://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/gsk-exits-u-s-market-its-hpv-vaccine-cervarix
  2. CDC, “Provider Information: Gardasil 9 VIS” http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hpv-gardasil-9-hcp-info.pdf
  3. CDC, “CDC Recommends only two HPV shots for younger adolescents”, CDC Newsroom http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p1020-hpv-shots.html?s_cid=govD_HPV-10-20-16_01

4 Responses to “HPV Vaccine Update: October 2016”

  1. Kathy

    I am astonished. Healthy young women have died after receiving this vaccine. But you recommend it??

    • mhenderson

      The short answer for this venue (comment section) is that Medical Institute bases its recommendation of the HPV vaccine on medical and scientific data. Besides our own physicians, MI is fortunate to also have a medical advisor who is an expert in the field of HPV and who has examined evidence from clinical trials and reported side effects. MI desires optimal health outcomes for all, particularly our younger generations.

  2. Debbie

    What I don’t understand is why no mention is made in this article–or in ads for the vaccine–of the fact that HPV is a sexually transmitted disease and can be prevented by not having sex outside marriage. This appears to be the same conflicted message of don’t have sex before marriage, but here’s a condom. Except no mention of abstinence here. The last paragraph would have been a good place if not sooner.

    • mhenderson

      Yes, I agree with you that a sentence or two about risk avoidance at the end of the article would have been appropriate and in keeping with the message of Medical Institute. Thank you for pointing that out. I cannot change it in the newsletter, but I can add it to the blog post, where the article will be permanently housed.
      I do want to mention, however, that there are victims of sexual abuse who are innocently exposed to cancer-causing strains of HPV. There are no tests available for HPV screening, so if one marriage partner has the virus, it could easily be spread to the other spouse who had no previous sexual contact.