Canadian researchers are seeking 8666 teenage girls from across the country for a new national study that will determine whether two or three doses of the vaccine Gardasil provide similar protection against human papillomavirus (HPV).
If study results show that two doses are effective, this would mean fewer needles for girls receiving the vaccine as well as cost savings for the health care system. While earlier studies have shown that two doses of Q-HPV vaccine are as protective as three doses for up to 36 months, the new study aims to prove that two doses remain effective in the long term.
The study, which will last up to 10 years, is seeking girls born between 1997 and 2000 from five centres across Canada to participate. The Vaccine Evaluation Centre at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital is recruiting 3609 participants from BC.
Girls participating in the study will complete an annual survey designed to address risk factors for getting HPV disease. Beginning in the year that they turn 15 and continuing for five consecutive years, girls will self-collect vaginal swabs and send them to the study lab, which will test for HPV and determine whether the number of doses received to date have offered adequate protection. There are also two optional blood samples that will be tested for levels of immune protection against HPV.
The study is designed to assess risk for HPV disease, HPV prevalence, and the levels of protection provided by two doses compared to three doses of the vaccine. It aims to answer these questions:
• Are two doses of HPV vaccine good enough to continue to provide protection?
• What level of HPV disease is present in the vaccinated population?
• Is there a difference between the groups that have had two versus three doses of HPV vaccine?
For more information on the study, visit www.questhpvstudy.ca or call 604 875-2000 ext. 6501, toll free 1 866-502-2424.
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