Gardasil effectiveness – yes, HPV vaccine does protect you against cancer

Gardasil effectiveness

Although I have no poll numbers sitting in front of me, and certainly no scientific peer-reviewed research, I just have a feeling that if you scratch the surface of an anti-vaccine activist, you will find that if they could hate one vaccine, it would be Gardasil. And one of the arguments will be all about Gardasil effectiveness – they claim it doesn’t actually prevent cancer.

When you couple their false claims about the dangers of the vaccine with the claims about the lack of Gardasil effectiveness, you’d probably agree with the anti-vaccine crowd. Despite these false claims, HPV vaccine uptake has slowly grown in the US and other countries.

I’ve written nearly 200 articles about the HPV cancer-preventing vaccine, but most of those are focused on debunking myths and confirming the safety of the vaccine. I’m going to focus on a quick primer about Gardasil effectiveness in preventing cancer. Stay tuned for some interesting science. Continue reading “Gardasil effectiveness – yes, HPV vaccine does protect you against cancer”

Childhood vaccine effectiveness – easy to use table

childhood vaccine effectiveness

Too often we hear those opposing vaccines claim modern vaccines do not work. Sometimes, that claim is based on the fact that in some outbreaks, higher numbers of absolute cases are vaccinated. That’s a common mistake, based on misunderstanding of how the fact that most people are vaccinated affects us, and how we can misinterpret childhood vaccine effectiveness by ignoring the incidence rate.

In reality, we can easily see that modern vaccines are very effective because in terms of rates, the rates of diseases are dramatically higher among the unvaccinated (pdf).

But it can be helpful to look at the actual numbers. The fact is that most of the vaccines we give our children are more than 90% effective at protecting against disease. That is very high.

This provides the rates of childhood vaccine effectiveness of the childhood immunization schedule (see Notes 1 and 2). Effectiveness, discussed here, refers to the vaccine’s ability to prevent the outcome – disease or severe disease – in real world conditions (as opposed to efficacy which means reduction of disease in clinical trial conditions).

The numbers are based on the studies examined in detail in the recent edition of the professional text book: Vaccines (Stanley A. Plotkin, Walter A. Orenstein and Paul A. Offit, eds., 6th ed. 2013). Dr. Paul Offit kindly provided additional information, correction and guidance in interpreting some of the data. Continue reading “Childhood vaccine effectiveness – easy to use table”