The findings could make the World Health Organisation’s goal of eliminating the disease completely easier than was initially thought. The analysis is based on a study of 133,082 girls and women, half of whom were immunised with either one, two or three injections. Among 15 to 19-year-olds over five years, 1.62 per cent (one jab), 1.99 per cent (two jabs) and 1.86 per cent (three jabs) developed abnormal growths – categorised as pre-invasive forms of the disease – that can turn into tumours.
These figures compared to 2.65 per cent within the unvaccinated group. Results mean the risk for vaccinated teens is cut, respectively, by 36 per cent, 28 per cent and 34 per cent depending on the number of jabs.
Dr Ana Rodriguez, of the University of Texas, said: “This study shows it is important to educate parents about the need to vaccinate their children.”
A one-dose vaccination campaign could be particularly useful in developing nations, where there is a greater occurrence of the cancer but less treatment available.
During the past decade, UK schoolgirls have received the HPV jabs when they are aged 12 or 13 to counter the disease, the second most common type of cancer among British women under 35.
Smear tests have made cases in the UK rare, with some 3,000 being diagnosed annually, while the disease claims 850 lives a year.
The University of Texas findings were published in Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society.
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