A study found that taking just two doses of the HPV vaccine may be as effective at preventing cervical cancer as taking the recommended three doses. It's great news, since plenty of people aren't getting all three shots anyway.
According to USA Today, the finding is the result of an analysis of data from the National Cancer Institute's Costa Rica Vaccine Trial. The 7,466 women enrolled in the study were given either the HPV vaccine Cervarix, or a Hepatitis A vaccine. The idea was to give the subjects all three shots, but as often happens in the U.S., 20% only wound up getting one or two doses.
Four years later, researchers found that receiving just one dose offered a high level of protection, and two doses was as successful at preventing HPV infection as three doses. The researchers said:
"Our clinical efficacy data provides suggestive evidence that an HPV vaccine program that provides fewer doses to more women could potentially reduce cervical cancer incidence more than a standard three-dose program that uses the same total number of doses but in fewer women."
Plus, for American parents who aren't dissuaded by the (made-up) possibility that vaccinating their daughter will turn her into a wanton slut, only having to see the doctor for two of the sometimes-pricy shots may encourage them to get the vaccination.
Image via Fortish/Shutterstock.