HPV, along with its vaccine Gardasil, surged in conversations not long ago as women supported the efforts of protecting themselves against cervical cancer and genital warts. While many flocked to their doctor's offices with the best of intentions to receive the shot, they didn't always follow through. A new study found that less than a third of women who begin the series actually complete it.
The vaccine against HPV/cervical cancer is given in a series of three separate shots over a period of about six month's time. In order for the shots to be effective, the patient must comply by getting all three at the correct time. Failure to do so results in women being under protected and may reduce the length of time the vaccine is effective. The study monitored 2,641 women who started on the HPV vaccine and found that 39.1 percent received a single dose, 30.1 percent got two doses, and 30.78 percent completed the three-dose regimen. Barriers to compliance may include scheduling difficulties, unwanted side effects, costs, and failure to follow-up. It is not necessary to restart the series if one shot is missed, but one should be sure to complete the series once it begins. Both males and females are approved for its use to protect against genital warts and/or cancer. The vaccine is available through the Student Health and Wellness Center. Talk to your health care provider to learn more!