[SaneVax: If the news that two shots of Gardasil are capable of maintaining the same antibody level as receiving all three recommended doses, how long will it take for the CDC to alter the current recommended schedule?]
Merck’s HPV Vaccine May Protect Girls With Fewer Doses
By Nicole Ostrow
Two doses of Merck & Co. (MRK)’s human papillomavirus vaccine may be just as effective in younger girls as the recommended three doses given to older teens and women to help protect them against the virus that causes cervical cancer, a Canadian study found.
Girls ages 9 to 13 years who received two doses of Gardasil had antibody levels that were not worse than females ages 16 to 26 years who received three doses, according to research today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Today’s study is the first to look at the effects of reducing the doses of Gardasil, which protects against four strains of HPV, the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer, to see if the vaccine is still effective, the authors wrote. More studies are needed before the recommendations for vaccine doses should be changed, said Simon Dobson, the lead study author.
“The public health question is, is there enough information in this study to say that a two-dose schedule for young girls is all right. The answer is not quite yet,” Dobson, a clinical associate professor in pediatric infectious diseases at BC Children’s Hospital at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, said yesterday in a telephone interview.
The project was funded by ministries of health in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec. Merck Laboratories Inc. did antibody tests at no cost.