A single dose against the human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, provides similar protection as two doses for children under 21 years old, confirmed this two (11) specialists in vaccination policy at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Almost all different types of cervical cancer are caused by sexually transmitted papillomavirus infection.
There have been vaccines against this virus since the mid-2000s, but until now two doses are recommended.
In light of the latest data, the WHO expert panel states that a single dose can protect the 9-14 and 15-20 age groups.
This new recommendations will allow more girls and women to be vaccinated “while maintaining the necessary level of protection,” said committee chair Dr. Alejandro Craviotto during a press conference.
Although he also reported that national vaccination plans may continue to administer two doses if deemed necessary.
On the other hand, WHO experts continue to recommend two doses six months apart for women over 21 years of age.
“For immunocompromised people, especially those with HIV, we recommend two doses, including three,” Craviotto said.
Cervical cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer affecting women worldwide. In 2020, dose vaccination coverage on the planet reached only 13% of women. In the same year, this cancer caused the death of 340,000 people.
About 90% of new cases and deaths worldwide in 2020 were in low- and middle-income countries.
“The single-dose option is cheaper, consumes fewer resources, and is easier to administer,” said Dr. Princess Nothemba Semelela, Deputy Director-General of the World Health Organization.
The head of the WHO committee recalls that “every two minutes, a woman dies of this disease.”
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