The research showed that since 2006, when the vaccine was introduced, vaccine-type HPV prevalence dropped 56% among teen girls between the ages of 14 and 19.
Approximately 79 million people in the U.S. are infected with HPV, and the majority are in their late teens and early 20s. About 14 million people become newly infected with the virus every year.
"This report shows that HPV vaccine works well, and the report should be a wake-up call to our nation to protect the next generation by increasing HPV vaccination rates," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.
"Unfortunately only one third of girls aged 13-17 have been fully vaccinated with HPV vaccine. Countries such as Rwanda have vaccinated more than 80 percent of their teen girls. Our low vaccination rates represent 50,000 preventable tragedies - 50,000 girls alive today will develop cervical cancer over their lifetime that would have been prevented if we reach 80 percent vaccination rates. For every year we delay in doing so, another 4,400 girls will develop cervical cancer in their lifetimes."
Each year, there are an estimated 19,000 cancers that occur in American females as a result of HPV, according to the CDC, with cervical cancer being the most common.
HPV is responsible for approximately 8,000 cancers in men every year, with oropharyngeal (throat) cancers being the most common.
Data was gathered and analyzed from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) by Dr. Lauri Markowitz and team at the CDC.
The experts wanted to compare prevalence - or proportion of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 59 with particular types of HPV - prior to the start of the HPV vaccination program (2003-2006) with the prevalence after the introduction of the vaccine (2007-2010).
The report also demonstrated that the vaccine is highly successful, as anticipated from clinical studies before the vaccine was licensed.
Dr. Markowitz said:
"The decline in vaccine type prevalence is higher than expected and could be due to factors such as to herd immunity, high effectiveness with less than a complete three-dose series and/or changes in sexual behavior we could not measure. This decline is encouraging, given the substantial health and economic burden of HPV-associated disease."
Doctors as well as public health specialists look forward to an increasing number of people receiving the vaccine for HPV as a result of these promising results.
Both boys and girls are advised to receive routine vaccination at age 11-12. However, according to recent national immunization polls, only approximately 50% of all girls in the U.S., and far fewer boys, were given the first dose of HPV vaccine.
A series of three shots is suggested over 6 months. HPV vaccination is also advised for older adolescents and young adults who were not vaccinated when they were younger.
A previous report in BMJ showed that since implementing a nationwide HPV vaccination program, there has been a notable reduction in the number of cases of genital warts in Australia.
A report from earlier this year said that a new low price for HPV vaccines will now help guarantee that millions of girls in poor countries are protected against cervical cancer.
Written by Sarah Glynn