By: Denise Mann
09 November 2010
Nov. 9, 2010 — Just one-third of teenage girls actually complete all three required doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) shot, suggesting that many teens are unprotected or underprotected from the strains of HPV linked to cervical cancer. These findings will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Philadelphia.
The HPV shot protects females against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. The CDC recommends the shot for girls and young women aged 11 to 26. Two HPV vaccines are licensed by the FDA and recommended by the CDC: Cervarix and Gardasil. The Gardasil vaccine also protects against most genital warts. Both vaccines require three doses for maximum protection.
“I was surprised by the relatively poor completion rate,” says study researcher J. Kathleen Tracy, PhD, an assistant professor of epidemiology and public health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.