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HHS HealthBeat (July 27, 2012)

Vaccination against cancer

A woman gets a vaccination.
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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Just three shots can reduce the risk of cervical cancer. But a researcher says girls and young women – including those ages 9 to 18, who would get the most benefit – are not getting all the shots within the recommended six months. Abby Berenson of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and her team looked at data on about 272,000 girls and women who got the first dose.

“Many patients have received one vaccine but not completed all three doses. We recommend that all patients take steps to complete the three-dose series.”

Experts say the three-dose series is known to work; they don’t know if one or two doses will.

The study in the journal Cancer was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: July 26, 2012