Published: Wed, February 12, 2020
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Is 1 Dose Enough for HPV Vaccination?

Is 1 Dose Enough for HPV Vaccination?

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of the disease, with the sexually transmitted infection the human papillomavirus (HPV) the cause of 99 percent of cases.

The analysis is based on a study of 133,082 girls and women, half of whom were immunised with either one, two or three injections. It is the most aggressive among girls aged 16-17 years.

The HPV vaccine has been a political ray in Japan, where claims of side effects led the government to suspend the active recommendation of vaccines in June 2013.

"Although HPV vaccination will be a major contributor to reducing cervical cancer over time, we found that in the immediate term, screening continues to play a critical role in reducing the burden of cervical cancer in USA", said Emily Burger, a research scientist in the Center for Health Decision Science at Harvard Chan School who co-led the study.

The vast majority of vaccinated women (91.2%) received their first dose of HPV vaccine when they were age 15 or older, with 41.7% receiving one or two doses.

In this context, the possible efficacy of administering just 1 dose of prophylactic HPV vaccine has become a question of clinical importance. Within five years, 2.65 percent of unvaccinated teens aged 15 to 19 years developed preinvasive cervical disease, compared with 1.62 percent, 1.99 percent, and 1.86 percent in the one-, two- and three-dose groups, respectively.

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In women younger than age 25, however, the effectiveness of cervical cancer screening remains questionable, Rodriguez and colleagues said.

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One of the most raging debates in the U.S. now is that of vaccination. It was found that among females between the ages of 15 to 19-who had received one to three doses of the HPV vaccine-the rates of preinvasive cervical disease were significantly lower than unvaccinated adolescent girls. In 2018, the World Health Organization made a call to see cervical cancer eliminated worldwide, setting the threshold at four or fewer cases per 100,000 women.

For the youngest (less than 15 years old) and oldest age groups (20 years and older), the investigators did not find significant differences among the vaccinated groups in terms of risk for preinvasive cervical disease. Over the years, the number of parents choosing to refrain from vaccinating their children is on the rise.

The retrospective matched cohort study was conducted using data taken from Optum's Clinformatics DataMart Database.

The authors of an accompanying editorial wrote, "If one dose of HPV vaccine was sufficient for effective protection, HPV vaccine implementation and scale-up would require less logistics..., available doses could extend further, and the overall cost would be lower".

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