Study: 2 or 3 vaccine doses more effective preventing HPV? - FOX 32 News Chicago

Study: 2 or 3 vaccine doses more effective preventing HPV?

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(WJBK) -

Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections. It can lead to condyloma, known as genital warts, but also can eventually lead to cervical cancer. A three-dose vaccine over a six-month period helps prevent HPV, but a new study investigates if you really need all three doses.

"We wanted to see whether two doses would offer equal protection or maybe better protection, and which dose would be the most effective to use in protection against condyloma," says Dr. Lisen Arnheim-Dahlstrom from Karolinska Institutet.

Doctors studied data on more than one million girls and young women across Sweden between the ages of 10 and 24. They looked at who got genital warts and who got two or three doses of the vaccine.
"The best protection would be after having three doses compared to having two doses. However, we also see that two doses gives a substantial protection against condyloma," says Arnheim-Dahlstrom.

Researchers still do not know what that means for the cervical cancer risk. They looked at genital warts because they usually appear three to six months after infection. Cervical cancer can take up to a decade or more to develop.  

"If you could reduce from three doses to two doses that would really help especially low income countries but also high income countries because the implementation of a vaccine program will probably run smoother," says Arnheim-Dahlstrom.

Two doses could be less expensive and also easier to administer. Researchers say, for now, girls and young women should continue the recommended three-dose vaccine schedule until we know the effect of just two doses on the risk of developing cervical cancer.

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