A new analysis suggests that just one dose of the HPV vaccine may be able to protect girls from cervical cancer rather than the three that are currently recommended.
The authors of the study acknowledged that their study isn’t enough to change vaccination strategies immediately. However, at the moment the results are not confirmed.
Requiring just one dose of the vaccine could have a big impact on how many girls around the world get immunized.
Young girls typically start getting vaccinated around age 11 to 12 and each dose of the HPV vaccine costs about $100.
Cervical cancer is the fourth-most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide and is estimated to kill more than 260,000 annually.
Researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute looked at data from previous trials covering more than 24,000 young women to see how much protection they received from one, two, or three doses of the HPV vaccine, Cervarix.
They estimated that the vaccine continued effectiveness for about four years between 77 and 86% for all the young women, regardless of how many shots they received regardless of the number of shots they received.
According to the medical directors of the National HPV Vaccination Program Register in Australia, if fewer doses could be used the potential is huge to prevent the deaths of millions of women.
Besides the vaccine Cervarix, a similar vaccine Gardsil, it is unclear if that vaccine would work with fewer doses. Although experts believe that is possible since Gardasil is also made with virus-like particles.
Glaxo welcomed the findings, but released a statement saying that at the moment they have no plans to file for a single-dose license.
In the U.S. no HPV vaccine is licensed as a two-dose regimen and the top vaccine advisory committee hasn’t discussed data from using only one dose.