The impact of over ten years of HPV vaccination in England: Surveillance of type-specific HPV in young sexually active females

Marta Checchi*, David Mesher, Kavita Panwar, Anja Anderson, Simon Beddows, Kate Soldan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The UK national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme was introduced in 2008 using the bivalent HPV16/18 vaccine, changing to the quadrivalent HPV6/11/16/18 vaccine from 2012. We provide an analysis of type-specific HPV prevalence in young sexually active females in England to end 2020 (when the first routinely HPV vaccinated females were reaching 25 years of age and entering the National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme), showing the impact of over ten years of high coverage HPV vaccination. Methods: Residual vulvovaginal swabs (VVS) were collected from 16 to 24 year old women attending for chlamydia screening between 2010 and 2020, anonymised and tested for type-specific HPV DNA. Trends in vaccine and non-vaccine HPV type prevalence were compared over time and association with vaccination coverage was evaluated within the post-vaccination period. Results: A total of 21,168 eligible VVS specimens were tested for HPV DNA. The prevalence of HPV16/18 in sexually active 16–18 year old females who were offered vaccination aged 12–13 years was <1% in the most recent years tested, compared to over 15% prior to the vaccination programme in 2008. The magnitude of these decreases also suggests reduced transmission is offering some herd protection to unvaccinated females. HPV31/33/45 prevalence also steadily decreased, providing evidence of cross-protection. HPV6/11 prevalence remained stable during the bivalent vaccine period, with more recent declines, as expected due to the use of the quadrivalent vaccine. There has been no substantive increase in the prevalence of other high-risk (HR) HPV types. Discussion: More than ten years of high coverage HPV vaccination in adolescent females in England has delivered dramatic declines in the prevalence of HPV vaccine-types and closely related HPV types in females in the vaccine eligible age group, and no indication of type replacement. These findings should enable confidence in planning for cervical screening of these females, and in predicting declines in HPV-related cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6734-6744
Number of pages11
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2023

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  • Epidemiology
  • HPV
  • Prevalence
  • Vaccination
  • Vaccine effectiveness
  • Vaccine impact


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