The HPV vaccine is a preventive vaccine designed to protect against certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Here are some important points about the HPV vaccine:
The HPV vaccine helps prevent infections caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection and can lead to various health issues, including genital warts and certain types of cancer, such as cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile and oropharyngeal (throat) cancers.
There are several HPV vaccines available, including Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix. Gardasil and Gardasil 9 protect against the most common high-risk HPV types that cause cervical, anal, vaginal, vulvar, penile and some oropharyngeal cancers, as well as the low-risk types that cause genital warts. Cervarix protects against the most common high-risk HPV types that cause cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine is most effective when given before exposure to the virus, which is why it is recommended for adolescents and young adults. The vaccine is typically administered in a series of two or three doses over several months. The exact age recommendations may vary depending on the country and healthcare guidelines.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for both males and females. In many countries, it is routinely recommended for preteen boys and girls around the age of 11 or 12. The vaccine may also be recommended for catch-up vaccination in older individuals who have not received it previously.
The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing HPV infections and associated diseases. It provides long-lasting protection against the specific HPV types included in the vaccine. By receiving the vaccine, individuals can reduce their risk of developing HPV-related cancers and other related health issues.
Vaccine Side Effects
Like any vaccine, the HPV vaccine can cause side effects. Common side effects include pain or swelling at the injection site, mild fever, headache, fatigue and muscle or joint pain. Severe reactions are rare. Most side effects are mild and temporary.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to discuss the HPV vaccine, understand the specific recommendations in your region and address any questions or concerns you may have. They can provide personalised advice based on your age, medical history and individual circumstances.