The multi-dose regimen is a known barrier to successful human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. Emerging evidence suggests that one vaccine dose could protect against HPV. While there are clear advantages to a single dose schedule, beliefs about vaccine dosage in low and middle income countries (LMICs) are poorly understood. We investigated acceptability of dose-reduction among girls, and parents/guardians of girls, randomised to receive one, two or three doses in an HPV vaccine dose-reduction and immunobridging study (DoRIS trial) in Tanzania.
Semi-structured interviews with girls (n=19), and parents/guardians of girls (n=18), enrolled in the study and completing their vaccine course.
Most participants said they entrusted decisions about the number of HPV vaccine doses to ‘experts’. Random allocation to the different dose groups did not feature highly in the decision to participate in the trial. Given a hypothetical choice, girls generally said they would prefer fewer doses in order to avoid the pain of injections. Parental views were mixed, with most wanting whichever dose was most efficacious. Nonetheless, parents sometimes equated a higher number of doses with greater protection.
Vaccine trials and programmes will need to employ careful messaging to explain that one dose offers sufficient protection against HPV should emerging evidence from ongoing dose-reduction clinical trials support this.

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