Single-dose HPV vaccine highly effective, researchers say

Nov. 24, 2021

A randomized controlled trial of 2,275 women in Kenya showed that a single dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine was highly effective, according to a news release from the University of Washington. The current standard for women is a three-dose regimen.

Currently, just 15% of women are vaccinated against HPV, according to an analysis published in March in Preventive Medicine, which outlined a course of action to eliminate the disease.

The KEN-SHE trial could help the World Health Organization reach its goal to have 90% of 15-year-old girls vaccinated against HPV by 2030.

“These findings are a gamechanger that may substantially reduce the incidence of HPV-attributable cervical cancer and position single-dose HPV vaccination as a high value and high impact public health intervention that is within reach for us,” said Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Acting Director General, Professor Sam Kariuki.

Like many African countries, the Kenya HPV vaccine program rollout has faced the challenges of vaccine delivery, low uptake of the second HPV dose coupled with global HPV vaccine shortages.

In the trial, women aged 15 to 20 years old were randomly assigned a therapy and followed from December 2018 to June 2021.The majority of participants (57%) were between 15 and 17 years old and most reported one lifetime sexual partner (61%). To be eligible, participants needed to be sexually active, have no more than five lifetime partners, be HIV-negative, and have no history of HPV vaccination.

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