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Vaccines for the HPV virus, picture above, are linked to lower rates of premature birth

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Widespread HPV vaccination appears to have prevented thousands of premature births in Australia, and could lead to improvements in infant health worldwide.

Women who have had HPV – the human papilloma virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer – are more at risk of having premature babies. This may be because the treatment for high-risk HPV infections involves removing affected cells from the cervix, which is effective for preventing cancer but can sometimes affect the mechanical strength of the cervix.

Australia was …

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