WHO considers one dose of human papillomavirus vaccine sufficient for women under 21

One dose of vaccine against the human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, provides similar protection to two doses for women under 21, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.

WHO experts have concluded, in the light of new data, that a single dose of the vaccine is sufficient to protect girls aged 9 to 20, rather than the usual two doses.

Vaccination plans

Despite the new recommendation, vaccination plans in different countries can continue to use both doses if deemed necessary.

For women over 21, the WHO continues to recommend taking two doses, six months apart.

Women with weakened immune systems, mainly due to HIV/AIDS infection, need to take two or three doses to be fully protected.

Cervical cancer is caused by infection with human papillomavirus, which is sexually transmitted.

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