Vaccines have been hailed as one of the greatest medical achievements of the past century. Just in the past 12 years alone, several new vaccines—rotavirus, meningococcal, herpes zoster and pneumococcal—have been introduced, bringing the number of preventable diseases for which the U.S. recommends vaccination to a whopping 17.
By some estimates, routine vaccinations prevent 42,000 deaths and 20 million cases of disease—and save nearly $14 billion in health care costs.1
The safety and effectiveness of vaccines, as well as the recommended vaccination schedule, have been hotly debated over the years. But no vaccine has caused quite as much controversy as the series of shots given to protect against human papilloma virus (HPV).