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New HPV Vaccine Protects Kids as Well as Women

A new human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine appears to produce immunity just as well in girls and boys as it does in young women, a new study finds. The study focused on a new version of the HPV vaccine Gardasil, made by Merck. The new version targets 9 different strains of the virus. The old version targets 4 strains that cause about 70% of cases of cervical cancer. The new version expands this coverage to about 90% and also can help prevent some cancers of the vagina, vulva and anus. Previous research found that the new vaccine is highly effective in preventing disease in young women, ages 16 to 26. The new study included 3,066 people. Besides young women, there were also boys and girls, ages 9 to 15. They were given 3 doses of the new HPV vaccine.  One month later, about 99% of all 3 groups had signs of protection against all 9 strains of the virus.

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