The HPV vaccine has been making headlines of late and the same people who made this medical dream a reality have been hard at work on yet another vaccine that could help a large percentage of people.

This breakthrough vaccine is said to be able to lower cholesterol levels, even better than the popular statin drugs currently in use today.

“One of the most exciting things about this new vaccine is it seems to be much more effective than statins alone,” explains study author Bryce Chackerian, who is a molecular genetics and microbiology faculty member at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Statins, of course, have been a popular cholesterol-controlling drug but they have side effects like headache, abdominal pain, sleep disruption, and muscle inflammation. Currently, 17 million people in the United States use statins to moderate cholesterol.

This new drug actually works by targeting a very specific protein that can control cholesterol levels in the blood. This protein is known as PCSK9; those who have mutations of this protein have been shown to be at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

According to study co-author Dr. Alan Remaley, “Statins are still the most commonly prescribed medication for cholesterol. Although they are effective in many people, [they] do have side effects and don’t work for everyone.” The senior investigator with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health goes on to say, “The results of our vaccine were very striking, and suggest it could be a powerful new treatment for high cholesterol.”

The results of this study have been published in the medical journal Vaccine, on November 10th.