GALVESTON, Texas, July 27 (UPI) -- Three shots can reduce the risk of cervical cancer but many U.S. girls ages 9-18 are not getting all three human papillomavirus vaccine, researchers say.
Abby Berenson of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston said HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States, and least 50 percent of sexually active people will have genital HPV at some time in their lives.
Berenson and her team looked at data involving 272,000 girls and women who got the first dose of the vaccine.
"Many patients have received one vaccine but not completed all three doses," Berenson said in a statement. "We recommend that all patients take steps to complete the three-dose series."
The study, published in the Journal Cancer, said girls and young women, who would get the most benefit from the three vaccines, were not getting all the shots within the recommended six months.
Experts said the three-dose series is known to work but they don't know if one or two doses will, Berenson said.