Gardasil was tested and showed in 2 studies to prevent abnormal pap smears in women age 20 (ranged from age 16-24). Well it lowers the risk.
You can see how it lowers the risk of an abnormal pap like from 15% to 12%.
Well how important is an abnormal pap at age 20 or younger?
Not very it turns out. We're told to wait for abnormal paps to resolve in women 20 or younger because they will clear the infection without us doing a thing and cancer almost never happens at that age. In other words, if we continue to freeze and cut on cervixes with pap smear abnormalities in women 20 or younger we'll do more harm than good. The new guidelines in fact say do not do a pap smear on women under 21.
The population studied was older than the target group to get the vaccine by 10 years and the duration of protection is thought to be 5 years according to the makers of the vaccine.
We don't know what gardasil will do but there's no reason to think adding 5 years of HPV protection to an age group that is inherently capable of killing the infection naturally nearly 100% of the time will somehow prevent cervical cancer.
Maybe we'll end up doing boosters every 5-10 years in the end. Then all we have to worry about is this deal called serotype replacement.
There's like 11 other HPV types that cause cancer. Gardasil covers the 2 most common types seen but we're going to find out what those other 11 are like possibly since they'll have less competition with the 2 most common types out of the picture.
But we could get lucky and get only benign types doing the replacing. There are many more benign types than cancer causing.
But shouldn't we know if we're going to make matters worse BEFORE mass vaccinating all the children in america?
I don't know, maybe it's too complicated?