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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2015 Jul;24(4):340-2. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000067.

Early effects of human papillomavirus vaccination in Belgium.

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aInternational Centre for Reproductive Health (ICRH), Ghent University bDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent cSonic Health Care/AML, Antwerp dUnit of Cancer Epidemiology, Scientific Institute of Public Health, Brussels, Belgium.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been reimbursed in Belgium since 2007 for girls (12-15 years), extended to girls up to 18 years in 2008. This study assesses the trend of HPV 16/18 infections in women less than 25 years of age participating in opportunistic cervical cancer screening. A significant reduction in the prevalence of HPV 16 [relative risk (RR)=0.61, 95% confidence interval=0.39-0.95] and a nonsignificant reduction in HPV 18 (RR=0.65, 95% confidence interval=0.29-1.48) was found in the youngest group (15-19 years). The prevalences in the older age group did not change significantly. These findings show the early effects of HPV vaccination and confirm the effectiveness of immunization in a real-life setting.

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