The HPV Vaccine: Are 3 Doses Better Than 1?
A single dose of the HPV vaccine will be enough to protect women from the virus and cervical cancer, so why do docs insist on giving three shots?
Cervarix, the vaccine for the most common sexually transmitted infection, provides plenty of an immune response to protect women from human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in just one shot as opposed to the suggested three doses.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that HPV affects 10,300 women annually, causing 275,000 deaths worldwide per year.
Study author Mahboobeh Safaeian and her team of researchers analyzed a group of women, 20% of which did not complete the three-dose regimen of the vaccine. The results proved that women who took a single dose of Cervarix instead of all three had antibodies against HPV that were still stable in their blood four years later.
"This vaccine is about $130 a dose. It's just not feasible in a lot of undeveloped countries," said Safaeian.
Also, why pay $390 for a vaccine of three shots when you can just pay $130 for one with the same results?
With this new knowledge, more women might be willing to partake in the vaccine, knowing they don't have to commit to a three-dose regimen in order to be properly protected from the STI.
In 2012, only half of girls between ages 13 and 17 started the HPV vaccination, and only a third of those who started ended up completing all three doses.
Dr. Kevin Ault of Emory University's Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics stressed the significance of people's willingness to come into the office for a one-time vaccination versus a series of three.