Just 1 dose of the HPV vaccine may prevent infection: Study

New York: Just one dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may prevent infection from potential cancer-causing virus, suggests new research.

Results of the study, which included only women participants published in the journal JAMA Network Open, suggest that a single dose of HPV vaccine may be as effective as the currently recommended two- or three-dose series.

However, it is too early for people to rely on a single dose of the vaccine for protection, according to senior author Ashish Deshmukh, Assistant Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

“HPV vaccine coverage is less than 10 per cent globally because of poor vaccine uptake rates in many resource-limited countries. Ensuring boys and girls receive their first dose is a big challenge in several countries and a majority of adolescents are not able to complete the recommended series due to a lack of intensive infrastructure needed to administer two or three doses,” Deshmukh said.

“If ongoing clinical trials provide evidence regarding sustained benefits of a one-dose regimen, then implications of single-dose strategy could be substantial for reducing the burden of these cancers globally,” he added.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 34,800 new cancer diagnoses are linked to HPV annually.

The virus is thought to account for more than 90 per cent of all cervical and anal cancers, more than 60 per cent of all penile cancers, and approximately 70 per cent of all oral cancers.

Although the study participants included only women, the CDC recommends a two-dose regimen for all children, starting the series before age 15, or a three-dose regimen if the series is started between ages 16 to 26.

The latest generation of HPV vaccine can protect against nearly 90 per cent of cancer-causing HPV infections.

Yet, current vaccinations rates are less than ideal.

“The current HPV vaccine dosing regimen can be cumbersome for people to understand. If one dose is proven effective in trials, the vaccine regimen will be simplified,” said UTHealth School of Public Health assistant professor and lead author Kalyani Sonawane.