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Dental Hygiene Newswire

News and research for Ontario dental hygienists

Summary of the evidence on the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of human papillomavirus vaccines

The objective of this umbrella review published in the Journal of the American Dental Association was to summarize the evidence on safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in the general population.


Methods: The authors conducted a literature search and selected systematic reviews if they were published from January 2006 through November 2018, included randomized controlled trials or observational studies, related to the general population, and evaluated HPV vaccine-related clinical outcomes. The authors independently and in duplicate screened literature, extracted data, and appraised reviews using AMSTAR 2, a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews.

Results: The authors selected 30 systematic reviews that included male and female participants aged 9 through 76 years from multiple countries. Reviews evaluated postvaccine seroconversion, HPV infection rates, precancerous or benign lesions, and adverse events; none of the researchers reported on oral or oropharyngeal lesions. Results from the reviews showed that, compared with those who received a placebo or non-HPV-type vaccine, HPV-vaccinated participants had statistically significantly higher rates of seroconversion and local adverse events, statistically significantly lower rates of HPV infection and condylomata lesions, and decreased rates of HPV-related precancerous lesions, which did not always attain statistical significance.

Conclusions: Systematic reviews have found evidence that the available HPV vaccines are safe, effective, and efficacious against vaccine-type HPV infection and HPV-associated cellular changes, including precancerous and benign lesions.
Practical implications: Dentists may use this resource to better understand the literature on the potential harms and benefits of HPV vaccination.

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