The WHO is advocating for a single HPV vaccine in many parts of the world, Elizabeth Tracey reports


HPV causes cancer, and we have an effective vaccine against it. Now the World Health Organization is advocating for a single dose of the vaccine in places where completing the two dose regimen is challenging. Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center director William Nelson applauds the strategy.

Nelson: A single HPV dose might be effective for girls aged 9 to 20. The usual regimen is to have a dose of the vaccine, wait six months and then get another one. That requires a lot of health system effectiveness and coordination, which in the underresourced parts of the world is a little bit harder to achieve. So the notion that you can protect girls by giving them one vaccine is a very attractive one and could really help in that part of the world. What they do recommend still is that older girls if they’re going to get vaccinated have the two doses, boys still get the two doses.  :33

Nelson notes that the vaccine protects against cancers of the cervix, the mouth and throat, and several other rarer types. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.