Top 10 questions about HPV vaccine


HPV vaccine questions answeredWhat precisely is the human papillomavirus? Known as HPV, it’s the collective identify for a bunch of viruses usually transmitted by way of skin-to-skin sexual contact or intercourse. Of the various strains of HPV, round 30 of those can have an effect on the genitals.

Some of those strains could cause health issues starting from genital warts to cancers, With this in thoughts, it’s price contemplating getting the vaccine—particularly for those who’re not but sexually lively, as that is when the vaccine is best.

The HPV vaccines have been first licensed in 2006, and it’s not too long ago been introduced that from April 2018, the NHS vaccination programme will probably be prolonged to cowl males aged 45 or youthful who’ve intercourse with different males.1 We’ve written this text to deal with and decode a few of the most continuously requested questions about the HPV vaccines, and be sure you are absolutely conscious of the info.

Q. If this can be a vaccine towards a virus, how does it assist to forestall cervical most cancers?

A. The HPV virus can result in adjustments within the cervix which can then change into cancerous. That’s why stopping HPV considerably reduces the possibilities of creating cervical most cancers. You can learn extra about this here.

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Q. I’ve heard that the vaccine is designed for younger girls and individuals who aren’t sexually lively. Is that why it’s given to girls as younger as 12, earlier than they’re sexually lively?

A. The excellent time to have the vaccination is earlier than there’s been any threat of publicity to HPV—earlier than changing into sexually lively. What’s extra, the immune system in youthful girls responds higher to the vaccine, that means that they solely want two doses. In girls over the age of 15, three doses are beneficial.2

Q. Does the vaccine present safety towards sexually transmitted infections (STIs)?

A. No. The HPV vaccine doesn’t shield towards different frequent STIs similar to chlamydia and gonorrhoea.. It’s additionally price noting that the effectiveness of condoms’ safety towards HPV or STIs is roughly 99% if used accurately.

Q. If it helps to forestall cervical most cancers, why do males want the vaccination?

A. It’s a little-known undeniable fact that HPV could cause most cancers of the anus, penis, mouth and throat.3 That’s why it’s so essential that males contemplate the vaccine. The vaccine can even shield each women and men towards some varieties of genital warts brought on by HPV.

Men are partly and not directly protected when girls with whom they’re sexually lively are vaccinated, however this isn’t the case with males who’ve intercourse with males. That’s why the NHS is introducing a nationwide vaccination for males who’ve intercourse with males, and are aged 45 and below.1 Heterosexual males aren’t eligible for HPV vaccination by way of the NHS, however they’ll nonetheless be vaccinated by way of the LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor Service.

Q. I’ve heard the NHS solely makes use of one specific kind of HPV vaccine. Does that imply it’s probably the most trusted model?

A. The latest vaccine out there is Gardasil 9, which is the vaccination utilized by LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. This is know to supply efficient safety towards 9 strains of HPV, that are recognized to trigger cervical most cancers, genital warts, vulval most cancers and anal most cancers.
The vaccine at the moment used as a part of the NHS HPV Vaccination Programme known as Gardasil. This protects towards 4 varieties of HPV, two of which trigger cervical most cancers and the opposite two of which trigger genital warts.4 There’s yet another kind of HPV vaccine—Cervarix. This protects towards the identical two varieties of HPV that trigger cervical most cancers as Gardasil, however not genital warts.

Gardasil 9 is accessible for each women and men by way of LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. It can be given to anybody who has already obtained a course of Gardasil or Cervarix, however would love the elevated safety supplied by Gardasil 9.

Q. I’m very cautious all the time to make use of barrier contraceptives, so why would I have to hassle with this vaccine?

A. Barrier contraceptives like condoms will assist to guard towards HPV, however they don’t supply full safety as a result of the virus may be transferred by any pores and skin contact. That’s why it’s price getting vaccinated.

Q. Once I’m protected, I’ll not have to go for a smear check, proper?

A. The HPV vaccination protects towards 70-90% of cervical cancer-causing HPV varieties. However, it doesn’t present 100% safety. That’s why it’s actually essential that you just proceed to attend common appointments for smear assessments.

Q. I obtained a full course of the vaccine, when do I would like a booster?

A. While it’s not essential to get a booster, for those who’ve been vaccinated with both Cervarix or Gardasil, you will get elevated safety from a Gardasil 9 vaccination out there by way of LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.

Q. I missed having the vaccines after I was at college and now I’m older and sexually lively. Is it too late to have it now?

A. The excellent time to be vaccinated is earlier than changing into sexually lively, as publicity to HPV could have already occurred. However, the vaccine will nonetheless shield towards future publicity to HPV if obtained after changing into sexually lively, so it’s positively price wanting into!

Q. My immune system isn’t nice. I’m apprehensive that the vaccine would possibly really give me HPV if my physique can’t deal with the vaccine. Is this doable?

A. No, it’s unimaginable for the vaccine to offer you HPV as a result of it doesn’t comprise a reside virus. There are some unusual circumstances which might imply that you just don’t reply to the vaccine, that is normally when a background sickness is present that suppresses the immune system.


  1. HPV vaccination programme for males who’ve intercourse with males –
  2. NHS –
  3. NHS –
  4. NHS –

Dr Samantha Wellappili


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