Girls who get the cervical cancer jab in their teens may now only need a screening twice in their lifetime, a UK professor has claimed.

Professor Peter Sasieni from Queen Mary, University of London said that cervical cancer should become a “rare disease” with the availability of a new HPV vaccine that protects against key strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes most cases of cervical cancer. He added that girls who have the jab when they are 12 or 13 would need a test when they are 30 and 45.

Sasieni suggests that the currently practiced smear test program which requires a screening every three to five years, could be replaced with HPV testing. The HPV test takes up 13 strains of the disease, which covers almost all cervical cancer cases. Cervical cancer takes nearly over 10 years to develop after HPV infection. The vaccine prevents the spread of the sexually-transmitted HPV, which causes 70 per cent of cervical tumors.

“If you don't have one of these 13 types of HPV then your chance of getting cervical cancer in the next 10 years is really incredibly low,” Prof Sasieni said. "You would capture virtually everybody with HPV testing. Vaccinated women would only need to be screened when they are 30 and 45," he added.