Single-Dose HPV Vaccine May Help Wipe Out Cervical Cancer Globally

    Single-Dose HPV Vaccine May Help Wipe Out Cervical Cancer Globally

    The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine offers significant protection against cervical cancer, seeing that HPV is its primary cause. The HPV vaccine schedule depends on when you got your first dose. You might need 2 or 3 doses. Now, recent reports suggest that a one-dose HPV vaccine is also highly effective. Here’s what you need to know about this development.

    What The Current HPV Vaccine Schedule Looks Like

    Like mentioned earlier, your HPV vaccine schedule generally depends on when you had the first dose.

    If parents decide to have their child vaccinated at ages 9 through 14, they need two doses 6 to 12 months apart.

    The three-dose vaccine is applicable to those who:

    • Decide to get their HPV vaccine at ages 15 through 26
    • Are immunocompromised and decide to get their vaccination at ages 9 through 26
    • Decide to get their HPV vaccine at ages 27 through 45

    Note the HPV vaccine schedule for three doses looks like this:

    • There should be a minimum of 4 weeks interval between the 1st and 2nd dose.
    • There should be a minimum of 12 weeks interval between the 2nd and 3rd dose.
    • The 1st and 3rd dose should be 6 months apart.

    One-Dose HPV Is Also Highly Effective – Experts

    On April 4 to 7, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) convened and evaluated the evidence that single-dose HPV vaccine is at par with 2 and 3-dose regimens.

    Based on these findings, SAGE recommends the following HPV vaccine schedule:

    • One or two-dose for girls aged 9 to 14
    • One or two-dose for young women aged 15 to 20
    • Two doses with 6 months interval for women older than 21

    Immunocompromised individuals, including those with HIV infection, should receive 3 doses if feasible or at least 2. This is because there is “limited data” on the effectiveness of single-dose HPV vaccine in this group.

    Why A Single-Dose HPV Vaccine Is A Game Changer

    For many experts, the one-dose vaccine is a game changer.

    If receiving just one dose is already effective against HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer, then it means that vaccination can become more affordable to families and women. Moreover, it might also pave the way for faster inoculation to more people.

    This brings renewed motivation to make cervical cancer the first ever cancer to be wiped out globally.

    hpv and cervical cancer

    The Implications Of The Recommended New HPV Schedule In The Philippines

    In the Philippines, cervical cancer is the 2nd leading cancer site in women. Statistically, it leads to at least 7,000 new cases and more than 3,000 deaths annually.

    Needing only one dose of HPV can help lower these numbers.

    In a study involving more than 400 women, results showed that half of them were accepting of HPV vaccination at a low price. 30% and 31% reported to be accepting of the vaccine at a moderate and high price respectively.

    If authorities approve the new HPV vaccine schedule, more women might be able to afford the shot.

    HPV Vaccination In The Philippines

    The HPV vaccine is part of the National Program on Immunization and the Department of Health has already tapped public schools to inoculate young girls with their parent’s consent.

    The HPV vaccine is provided by the government to free for children. Authorities encourage parents to bring their 9 to 10 year-old girls to a health center for the inoculation.

    If you missed the schedule, you may talk to your doctor about the appropriate HPV vaccine schedule for you.

    Key Takeaways

    The HPV vaccine schedule right now is for 2 or 3 dose regimens. However, experts have indicated that a single dose vaccine is also effective. This could be a game changer. With just one dose, HPV vaccination can be more affordable to many women and families.

    Learn more about HPV here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Dexter Macalintal, MD

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated May 15, 2022