A Single-Dose HPV Vaccine May Be Effective Against Cervical Cancer

HPV Vaccine advertisement

Banner image lifted from Creative Commons

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a group of over 200 related viruses. The spread is through skin-to-skin contact, while some through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Persistent High-Risk HPV has been found to cause Cervical, Anal, Vaginal, Oropharyngeal, Vulvar and Penile Cancer in 99%, 91%, 75%, 72% 69% and 63% of cases recently.

There are NO medicines to treat HPV, only prevention through immunization of HPV Vaccines. 

About the HPV Vaccine.

US FDA approved a safe and effective HPV vaccine in 2006. Since its licensure, over 270 million doses have been distributed and reports by the World Health Organization – Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety reported it to be “EXTREMELY SAFE“. When administered between the ages of 11 and 26, the vaccine can prevent almost 90% of HPV-related cancers. The vaccine was found to produce the strongest response in 11 and 12-year-old boys before they are exposed to the virus. 

The current HPV Vaccine schedule and dosing according to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommend 2 doses for children 2 doses for ages between 9 and 14 years old, while 3 doses ages 15 to 26 years of age. 

HPV Vaccine schedules and dosing

 Image lifted from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

New research published online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society indicates that a single dose of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is as effective as multiple doses for preventing preinvasive cervical disease, which later develops into cervical cancer. To test the effectiveness of fewer doses compared to standard doses of the HPV vaccine, Ana M. Rodriguez, MD, MPH, of the University of Texas Medical Branch and colleagues examined information on females aged 9 to 27 years old, who were unvaccinated or who received one or more HPV vaccine doses between January 2006 and June 2015. 

The study included 133,082 females (66,541 vaccinated and 66,541 unvaccinated) stratified by the number of HPV vaccine doses and the vaccine initiation age. For females aged 15 and 19 years, those who received one, two, or three doses of the HPV vaccine had lower rates of premalignant disease than those who were unvaccinated. The risk of having premalignant disease was 36%, 28% and 34% lower who received one, two, and three doses, respectively.

“This study shows the impact of vaccination at younger ages and its lasting long-term protection against cervical cancer,” Rodriguez said.

Light at the end of a tunnel.

The road to ending Cervical Cancer can be realized if one dose of HPV vaccine was sufficient for effective protection. At present, we are losing 11 Filipino women each day due to Cervical Cancer. Imagine how much lives we can save just by making people aware (Cervical Cancer Awareness) and the cost it would save our government. One dose of the vaccine depending on the type may range between Php 3,000 and 7,500 pesos. With a population of 31 million ages between 9 and 25, our government needs 93B to immunize everyone compared to 279B if three doses were to be recommended. 

As the eradication of Polio continues, Rotary can be at the center of all this by promoting awareness and vaccination at younger ages. The time to act is now. 


Dr. Bogs Rivera is a radiation oncologist by profession and founder to CerviQ, the first telehealth mobile application that aids in detecting cervical carcinoma. For more information, please visit our website: https://endcervicalcancerph.com/.

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