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HPV vaccines show progress, but need for booster in question

Posted by sim_james on 2006.04.08 at 02:32
Current Location: Washington

The first two vaccines against cervical cancer are moving closer to the U.S. market, but it will be years before scientists know for certain whether booster shots are needed.

It's an important question, because women probably will be exposed to human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer, many times over the decades that they are sexually active.

Cervical cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide, but it is rare in the USA, thanks largely to widespread screening with the Pap test.

HPV vaccine manufacturers say data so far suggest that their vaccines are more similar to the hepatitis B vaccine, which provides lifelong immunity, than the tetanus vaccine, which requires a booster shot every 10 years.

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