Researchers from the US National Institutes of Health looked at rates of HPV-16 and HPV-18 infection among women in a trial. Half the women received Cervarix and half were given a control vaccine.
The researchers looked at the impact on HPV protection for women who missed doses during the study. Although 5,967 women received all three doses in the trial, 802 only received two and 384 only received one.
The researchers found the rate of HPV vaccination was not related to the number of vaccine doses received.
They said that data from ongoing programs with extended intervals could demonstrate the short-term effectiveness of administering fewer than three doses.
The researchers concluded: ‘If randomised studies and cost-effectiveness analyses confirm the net benefits of administering fewer doses, and the duration of protection is sufficient, then the need for fewer doses may make primary prevention of cervical cancer a reality, especially for women in areas where most cervical cancers occur.’