New research says HPV infection rates have basically dropped like a rock among young women since they started getting vaccinated. Science: It’s magic!

The New York Times reports on a study newly published in the journal Pediatrics, based on CDC data. Researchers compared HPV rates in the period just before widespread adoption of the vaccine—2003 to 2006—to HPV rates from 2009 to 2012. Guess what?

By those later years, the prevalence of the four strains of HPV covered by the vaccine had decreased by 64 percent in girls ages 14 to 19. Among women ages 20 to 24, the prevalence of those strains had declined 34 percent. The rates of HPV in women 25 and older had not fallen.

Again, those numbers are major:

“We’re seeing the impact of the vaccine as it marches down the line for age groups, and that’s incredibly exciting,” said Dr. Amy B. Middleman, the chief of adolescent medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, who was not involved in the study. “A minority of females in this country have been immunized, but we’re seeing a public health impact that is quite expansive.”

Not that this is a surprising development. Previous studies have demonstrated that no, teenage girls do not take the shot as a license to run out and fuck anything that’ll slow down long enough, racking up other STIs. Nor is this even the first big splashy New York Times write-up of research suggesting that broader use of the vaccine was putting in a dent in infection rates. For instance, Jezebel covered one such piece back in 2013.

But hey, maybe this will be the study that convinces folks.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

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