Reduced HPV vaccine dosage effective

8 May 2013

A new MSFHR-supported study has found that two doses of a widely used human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may be just as effective as the standard three-dose regimen.

Over a three-year follow-up period, young girls vaccinated with two doses of the HPV vaccine Gardasil were found to have similar immune responses to those who received three doses. With a single dose of the vaccine costing more than $130, the discovery that immunity can be conferred with only two doses stands to enable significant cost savings for future vaccination programs, according to lead author Dr. Simon Dobson.

The study, published April 30 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is based on research funded by MSFHR at the request of the provincial health officer to establish the most cost-effective way to achieve HPV immunity.

Having established the short-term effectiveness of a two-dose regimen, the research team, including scientists at the Child & Family Research Institute and the BC Centre for Disease Control, recently launched a long-term national study – also supported by MSFHR – to determine if immunity can be maintained over a 10-year period. The Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine Evaluation Study (QUEST) is now recruiting participants who are female and were born between 1997 and 2000. For more information, visit www.questhpvstudy.ca.

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