Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
Most cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. Widespread immunization with the HPV vaccine could reduce the global impact of cervical cancer and other HPV-related cancers. What you should know about the HPV vaccine.
What is the purpose of the HPV vaccine?
HPV strains spread through sexual contact and are linked to the majority of cases of cervical cancer. Gardasil 9 is an HPV vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Food and Drug Administration, and it is appropriate for both girls and boys.
If given before girls or women are exposed to the virus, this vaccine can prevent the majority of cases of cervical cancer. This vaccine is also effective in preventing vaginal and vulvar cancer. Furthermore, the vaccine can protect against genital warts, anal cancers, and mouth, throat, head, and neck cancers in both men and women.
In theory, immunizing boys against the types of HPV linked to cervical cancer could help protect girls from the virus by reducing transmission.
Who should get the HPV vaccine, and when should they get it?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that girls and boys between 11 and 12 receive the HPV vaccine. It can be given as early as the age of nine. Girls and boys should get the vaccine before having sexual contact and being exposed to HPV. According to research, receiving the vaccine at a young age is not associated with an earlier start of sexual activity.
The vaccine may be less effective once someone has been infected with HPV. Also, younger children respond better to the vaccine than older children.
According to the CDC, all 11- and 12-year-olds should receive two doses of the HPV vaccine at least six months apart. Younger adolescents (ages 9 and 10) and teens (ages 13 and 14) can also be vaccinated in two doses. According to research, the two-dose schedule is effective for children under the age of 15.
Teens and young adults starting the vaccine series later, between the ages of 15 and 26, should receive three doses.
The CDC recommends catch-up HPV vaccinations for anyone under 26 who has not been adequately vaccinated.
Gardasil 9 was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for use in males and females aged 9 to 45. If you’re between 27 and 45, talk to your doctor about getting the HPV vaccine.
Who should not be vaccinated against HPV?
Pregnant women and people who are moderately or severely ill are not advised to get the HPV vaccine. Inform your doctor of any severe allergies, such as yeast or latex. You should also avoid the vaccine if you have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine component or a previous vaccine dose.
Is the HPV vaccine beneficial if you are already sexually active?
Yes. Even if you already have one strain of HPV, the vaccine may be beneficial because it can protect you from other strains you do not yet have. None of the vaccines, however, can treat an existing HPV infection. The vaccines only protect you from strains of HPV that you haven’t already been exposed to.
Is the HPV vaccine associated with any health risks or side effects?
Many studies have found the HPV vaccine to be safe.
The effects are typically mild. Soreness, swelling, or redness at the injection site are the most common side effects of HPV vaccines.
Following the injection, some people experience dizziness or fainting. The risk of fainting can be reduced by remaining seated for 15 minutes after the injection. Headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness are all possible side effects.
The CDC and FDA continue monitoring the vaccines for unusual or severe problems.
Is the HPV vaccine required for enrollment in school?
The HPV vaccine is included in the routine childhood vaccination schedule. The decision to make a vaccine a requirement for school enrollment is made state by state.
Do women who have had the HPV vaccine still need Pap tests?
Yes. The HPV vaccine is not meant to be a replacement for Pap tests. Beginning at age 21, routine cervical cancer screening remains an integral part of preventive health care.
What can you do to protect yourself against cervical cancer if you are not in the vaccine age group?
HPV is transmitted through sexual contact, whether oral, vaginal, or anal. Use a condom every time you have sex to protect yourself from HPV. Furthermore, refrain from smoking. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of cervical cancer.
Beginning at 21, see your doctor for regular Pap tests to detect cervical cancer in its early stages. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms of cervical cancer: vaginal bleeding after sex, between periods, or after menopause, pelvic pain, or pain during sex, seek immediate medical attention.