February 21, 2020
Can a single injection prevent cervical cancer? | NHS Behind the headlines

Can a single injection prevent cervical cancer? | NHS Behind the headlines


Hi, I’m Josefeen and welcome to “Behind
the headlines: The science behind the news”. This week, the Independent reported
that cervical cancer could be prevented with a single injection. A US study of more than 130,000 women looked at the impact of taking different numbers of
doses of the HPV vaccine. Currently, young people in the UK are offered 2 doses of the HPV vaccine to help protect against cancers, such as cervical cancer. The first dose is given at age 12 to 13, and the second dose 6 to 12 months later. To find out more about HPV please click on the link. The US study found that women who had been given a single dose of the vaccine had a similar reduction in cancer risk compared to women who had 2 or 3 doses. However, this study has several limitations. For example, the researchers didn’t randomly
allocate women to different doses of the vaccine. This meant that other factors could
have influenced the results. Therefore, we cannot
conclude that a single dose would be as effective as 2 doses for reducing the
risk of cervical cancer. For now, the official advice in the UK remains that
two doses of the HPV vaccine offers the best protection. If you’d like to
find out more about this story please click on the link.

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