Which vaccines are available for HPV?

In June 2006 the first prophylactic vaccine against certain types of HPV was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the trade name Gardasil. The vaccine was produced by Merck and in September 2006 it was granted a marketing authorization in Europe. The vaccine targets HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18.

A second vaccine, under the trade name Cervarix, was produced by Glaxo-Smith-Kline and offers protection against HPV types 16 and 18. This vaccine has been on the market since 2008.

Gardasil also offers protection for HPV types 6 and 11, which, as already mentioned, cause about 90% of all cases of genital warts.  Genital warts may be benign, but they are common (at least 1-3 out of every 100 sexually active individuals will develop genital warts by the age of 50) and are a major cause of morbidity with economic and psychological consequences.

Later it was found the even though Cervarix was designed to prevent HPV types 16 and 18 it covers a larger range of carcinogenic HPVs (31, 33 and 45). According to this new data, it is estimated that Cervarix may prevent almost 90% of cervical cancers.