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New HPV vaccine could be even more effective at protecting against cervical cancer

A new vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer, could be even more effective, according to research published in the journal Cancer Epidemology, Biomarkers, and Prevention.

The new vaccine, developed by drug maker Merck, will protect against nine strains of HPV and could be 90 percent effective. The current vaccine, GARDASIL, protects against four strains and is 70 percent effective.

Vaccination against these additional five types of HPV could be good news for women worldwide, as certain strains of HPV are more common outside of the United States and Europe — HPV 52 and 58, for example, are more common in Asia.

The new vaccine is being reviewed by the FDA, and if it is approved, it could be available sometime in 2015, Time reports.