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New guidance says adolescents only need one dose of HPV vaccine

Pharmacy News

New guidance says adolescents only need one dose of HPV vaccine

The UK’s HPV adolescent vaccination programme should move to a one-dose schedule, the Government’s joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) has said.

In a statement issued on Friday August 5, the JCVI said there is “strong evidence” that a single dose of HPV vaccine offers adolescents as much protection against HPV-related cancers as a two-dose course.

The committee said it had been considering the change “for several years” before consulting on proposals earlier this year, adding that such a move would align with recent advice from the WHO.  

Health secretary Steve Barclay will have the final say on whether the vaccination programme should move to a single dose. 

Recent evidence from England suggests that the HPV vaccine programme may have reduced the incidence of cervical cancer in young women vaccinated at 12 or 13 years of age by 87 per cent.

Dr Vanessa Saliba, consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA, said: “We know that the HPV vaccine offers excellent protection against cervical cancer and should also prevent a range of other cancers in women and men.

“The advice from the JCVI is based on compelling evidence that shows one dose of the HPV vaccine is just as effective as two doses and this aligns with recent advice from the World Health Organization.

“The advice has now been published and we will make sure that we work with the NHS and health partners to support the roll out of any changes to the programme.

“We urge everyone who is eligible to take up this potentially life-saving vaccine when it is offered. Those who have missed out can catch up until their 25th birthday.”

A separate HPV vaccination programme for men who have sex with men aged from 25 to 45 years will continue to offer two doses, with individuals of any age living with HIV to be offered three doses.

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