September 9, 2011
Two Doses Of HPV Vaccine May Offer Enough Protection
New government research shows that two doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may offer just as much protection against cervical cancer as the three-dose treatment.
According to the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the findings come from an analysis of data from the National Cancer Institute's Costa Rica Vaccine Trial. This trial has 7,466 women enrolled in it.
The women were either given the HPV vaccine Cervarix or a Hepatitis A vaccine.
The researchers found that two doses of Cervarix offered the same level of protection against HPV infections as three.
The researchers wrote in the journal: "Our clinical efficacy data provide suggestive evidence that an HPV vaccine program that provides fewer doses to more women could potentially reduce cervical cancer incidence more than a standard three-dose program that uses the same total number of doses but in fewer women."
Cervarix is one of two vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration has approved to protect against the two types of HPV that are responsible for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases around the world every year.
The researchers conclude, "If randomized studies and cost-effectiveness analyses confirm the benefits of administering fewer doses, and the duration of protection is sufficient, then the need for fewer doses may help make primary prevention of cervical cancer a reality."
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