Of Warts, Nuns and Jackalopes: A Brief History of the HPV Vaccine

This spring marks the 6-year anniversary of the vaccine for HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection that causes warts, cervical cancer, and other cancers. Since the vaccine’s debut back in 2006, millions worldwide have been vaccinated against HPV —an effort which is expected to have a serious impact on reducing the incidence of cervical and other anogenital cancers around the globe.

What’s now a commonplace vaccine, however, represents a long (and occasionally weird) history of scientific discovery. On this 6-year vaccinaversary, let’s nerd out for a minute and revisit the complex, sometimes strange, and ultimately successful history of the HPV vaccine.

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