Getting The Hpv Vaccine
The vaccine is offered routinely, through a school-based programme, to all males and females aged 12 to 13 years . If you have been eligible for the vaccine but have not received it in school, you can still receive it free of charge until the age of 25, if you ask your doctor.
If you start the vaccination course on or after your 15th birthday, you need three doses to be fully protected. This is because the antibody response is weaker in older girls and boys.
If you have not received the vaccine and believe the HPV vaccine could be helpful, you can discuss this with your GP. They may prescribe the vaccine for you.
Teens And Young Adults Should Be Vaccinated Too
Everyone through age 26 years should get HPV vaccine if they were not fully vaccinated already.
HPV vaccination is not recommended for everyone older than age 26 years.
- Some adults age 27 through 45 years who were not already vaccinated might choose to get HPV vaccine after speaking with their doctor about their risk for new HPV infections and possible benefits of vaccination for them.
- HPV vaccination of adults provides less benefit, because more people in this age range were exposed to HPV already.
What Types Of Hpv Vaccines Are There
Three HPV vaccines9-valent HPV vaccine , quadrivalent HPV vaccine , and bivalent HPV vaccine have been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration . All three HPV vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18 that cause most HPV cancers.
Since late 2016, only Gardasil-9 is distributed in the United States. This vaccine protects against nine HPV types .
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Why Is The Hpv Vaccine Recommended
HPV can cause some types of cancer and genital warts. The vaccine is an important way to prevent infection and the spread of HPV. It works best when given before someone might be exposed to the virus.
The HPV vaccine doesn’t protect against all types of HPV. So people who are sexually active should always use condoms. Girls and women should see their gynecologist regularly and get pap smears as recommended .
How You Can Get Hpv
HPV which stands for Human Papillomavirus is a sexually transmitted virus that you can catch from an infected person through:
- sexual activity, including oral sex
- intimate skin-to-skin contact with an infected person
You don’t have to have intercourse to get HPV.
Without immunization, three out of four sexually active Canadians will be infected with HPV at some point in their lives.
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Does The Immunisation Protect Me From Other Sexually Transmitted Infections
The HPV vaccine is designed to protect you against the 2 types of HPV that cause 75% of cervical cancer cases.
These 2 types of HPV also cause around:
- 90% of anal cancers
- 85% of head and neck cancers
- 78% of vaginal cancers
- 25% of vulval cancers across the world.
The statistics on cancers caused by HPV are different from country to country.
The vaccine also protects against 2 other types of HPV. These cause around 90% of cases of genital warts.
However, having this immunisation won’t protect you against any other sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia.
To get the best protection it’s important you have all the required doses. If you miss the immunisation session in school, you’ll be recalled to the next one.
The most important thing is to have all the required doses as soon as they’re offered at school. If you’ve left school or are unsure if you’ve missed any vaccinations, contact your GP.
You should be given a consent form and leaflet by your school. You and your parents, or carer, should discuss the information before agreeing to have the immunisation. When you’re given the consent form, you and your parents will be asked to sign it and return it to your school even if you aren’t going to have the vaccine.
We recommend you get agreement from your parent or carer, but it isn’t always necessary.
What Changes To Hpv Immunisation Happened From 1 January 2017
From 1 January 2017, HPV immunisation is funded for everyone aged 926 including boys and young men.
Gardasil 9 will replace the existing Gardasil vaccine. The vaccine is given as two doses to those aged 14 years and under, and three doses to those aged 15 years and older.
The vaccine is offered to boys and girls through participating schools at Year 8, around age 12. HPV immunisation is also available free through general practices from 9 years of age.
Gardasil 9 is being used in schools from the beginning of 2017, and in general practices later in the year once stocks of the existing Gardasil vaccine have run out. Those who have begun immunisation with the existing Gardasil vaccine should complete the course with that vaccine while it is available .
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Why Are The Number Of Doses Reducing From Three To Two For Those Aged 14 And Under
Those vaccinated at a younger age have a stronger immune response to protect against infection. In trials of Gardasil 9, those aged 9 to 14 produced as many antibodies following two doses of the vaccine as those aged 15 and over following three doses.
The vaccine is recommended and provided through schools at age 1112 because it is more effective when it is given at this age.
What Are The Possible Reactions After The Vaccines
Common reactions to the vaccines may include soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle or joint ache may also occur.
For more information on Reye Syndrome, see HealthLinkBC File #84 Reye Syndrome.
It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is an extremely rare possibility, less than 1 in a million, of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.
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Who Should Get The Hpv Vaccine
All people ages 9 to 45 can get the HPV vaccine to protect against genital warts and/or different types of HPV that can cause cancer. Its recommended that children get the vaccine at age 11 or 12, so theyre fully protected years before they become sexually active.
But regardless of your age, talk with your nurse or doctor to find out if the HPV vaccine could benefit you.
Every Year In Bc Approximately:
- 200 women will get cervical cancer and 50 will die from the disease
- 6,000 women will develop high risk changes to the cervix which are precancerous
- Over 450,000 women will undergo Pap tests and over 14,000 will need further follow-up. Follow-up may include more Pap tests and other procedures to stop cancer of the cervix from developing
- 110 people will get anal cancer and 20 will die from the disease
- 5,500 people will develop genital warts
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Why Is Hpv Vaccination Important
The combination of HPV vaccination and cervical screening can provide the greatest protection against cervical cancer. Also, HPV vaccination reduces the risk of developing cancers caused by HPV at sites other than the cervix.
Not only does vaccination protect vaccinated individuals against infection by the HPV types targeted by the vaccine that is used , but vaccination can also reduce the prevalence of the vaccine-targeted HPV types in the population, thereby reducing infection in individuals who are not vaccinated . For example, in Australia, where a high proportion of girls are vaccinated with Gardasil, the incidence of genital warts went down during the first 4 years of the vaccination program among young maleswho were not being vaccinated at the timeas well as among young females .
Further evidence that large-scale HPV vaccination confers protection for unvaccinated individuals comes from a 2019 meta-analysis of girls-only HPV vaccination programs in 14 high-income countries that included 60 million vaccinated people . That analysis showed that, up to 8 years after the start of vaccination, diagnoses of anogenital warts decreased by 31% among women aged 2529 years, by 48% among boys aged 1519 years, and by 32% among men aged 2024 years, compared with the period before vaccination began.
Age Range For Two Doses
A two-dose regimen is recommended for people ages 9 to 14. The first dose must be initiated before a person turns 15 to fall under the two-dose schedule.
Research shows that children in the 9-14 age range who receive two doses of the vaccine at least six months apart have equal or greater protection than people over the age of 15 who receive three doses.
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Immunogenicity Efficacy And Effectiveness
HPV vaccine is highly immunogenic. More than 99% of vaccine recipients develop an antibody response to vaccine HPV types after completing a 3-dose series. In immunocompetent, non-HIV infected individuals 9 to 14 years of age, a 2-dose schedule of HPV2, HPV4, or HPV9 vaccine is as equally immunogenic as a 3 dose series in individuals 15 to 24 years of age. The immune correlates of protection against HPV infection are unknown.
Efficacy and effectiveness
In Canada, immunization against HPV types 16 and 18 contained in HPV2, HPV4 and HPV9 vaccine can prevent approximately 70% of anogenital cancers and 60% of high-risk precancerous cervical lesions. Immunization against HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 contained in HPV9 vaccine could further prevent up to 14% of anogenital cancers and 30% of high-risk precancerous cervical lesions. Immunization with either HPV4 or HPV9 vaccine can prevent approximately 90% of genital warts.
HPV vaccine has no proven therapeutic effect on existing HPV infection. Prior infection with one or more vaccine HPV types does not diminish vaccine efficacy against other vaccine HPV types. The duration of protection following HPV vaccination is not known. Clinical trial subjects have been followed for approximately 10 years for HPV2 and HPV4 vaccines with no evidence of waning protection.
What Are The Side Effects
Many people have no side effects from the vaccines. For those that do, common side effects may include soreness, redness and swelling where the vaccine was given. Fever, fatigue, headache, and muscle or joint ache may also occur. As with other vaccines, fainting has occurred following HPV vaccination. Fainting can occur with any medical procedure – not just the HPV vaccine and people recover quickly.
It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any vaccine because there is a very rare possibility, between one in 100,000 and one in a million, of a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This may include hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the throat, tongue or lips. Should this reaction occur, your health care provider is prepared to treat it. Emergency treatment includes administration of epinephrine and transfer by ambulance to the nearest emergency department. If symptoms develop after you leave the clinic, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
It is important to always report serious or unexpected reactions to your health care provider.
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Who Should Not Get An Hpv Vaccine Or Who Should Wait
Pregnant women should not get any HPV vaccine at this time, even though they appear to be safe for both mother and the unborn baby. If a woman who is pregnant does get an HPV vaccine, its not a reason to consider ending the pregnancy. Women who started a vaccine series before they learned they were pregnant should complete the series after the pregnancy.
Make sure the health care provider knows about any severe allergies. The following should not get an HPV vaccine:
- Those with a severe allergy to yeast should not receive Gardasil or Gardasil 9.
- Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to anything else contained in the vaccines
- Anyone who has had a serious reaction to an earlier dose of HPV vaccine
The American Cancer Societys Recommendations For Hpv Vaccine Use
- Girls and boys should get 2 doses of the HPV vaccine between the ages of 9 to 12.
- Teens and young adults age 13 through 26 who have not been vaccinated, or who havent gotten all their doses, should get the vaccine as soon as possible. Vaccination of young adults will not prevent as many cancers as vaccination of children and teens.
- The ACS does not recommend HPV vaccination for persons older than age 26 years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in health care check-ups and annual physicals being put on hold, including visits for routine vaccinations. Learn important information that can help you plan a safe return to well-child visits in Getting Essential Childhood and Adolescent Vaccines During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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What Does The Hpv Vaccine Do
The HPV vaccine protects against six strains of the HPV virus that have been shown to cause cervical cancer as well as vagina, vulvar, anus, penile and throat cancers. Each year, there are about 35,000 cases of HPV-related cancer diagnosed. The most common among women is cervical cancer. The most common among men is throat cancer.
False Claims About The Hpv Vaccine
We are aware of stories on social media claiming that the HPV vaccine causes an increase in cases of:
- postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome an increase in heart rate that can make you feel faint and dizzy
- complex regional pain syndrome a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg
The European Medicines Agency researched these claims in 2015. They found no evidence that the HPV vaccine leads to an increase in these conditions.
Read the EMA’s report on the HPV vaccine and read about research from other countries here.
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Hpv Vaccines For Therapy
Current HPV vaccines are prophylactic vaccines that do not treat pre-existing HPV infections and related conditions . Researchers are working on therapeutic vaccines that trigger a cellular immune response as a treatment for established infections and malignancies . There are large varieties of therapeutic vaccines, including bacterial-vector, viral-vector, peptide, nucleic acid, and cell-based vaccines, as well as combination therapies . To date, unfortunately, with all the therapeutic vaccines tested, none of them could provide irreversible regression of HPV-associated cancers . A randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial was approved recently to investigate the safety and efficacy of using a newly developed HPV type 16 E7-expressing Lactobacillus-based vaccine for the treatment of HPV16 positive HSIL . Clinical trials that combined different therapeutic strategies, such as vaccines combined with a checkpoint inhibitor, showed promising results for the treatment of HPV-related cancers . For example, combination therapy with antibodies against programmed death-ligand 1 and HPV therapeutic vaccines have been reported to suppress tumor growth and increased immune-cell responses .
How Effective Are The Vaccines
The HPV vaccines have demonstrated very high efficacy in preventing the types of HPV infection for which they are indicated . If you are infected with one of the HPV types in the vaccine, the vaccine will still protect against the other type in the vaccine. HPV DNA testing is not recommended prior to vaccination.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
It’s common to have questions prior to getting a vaccine. Some questions you may want to ask your healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine are:
- When should I get the HPV vaccine?
- Are there any side effects of the HPV vaccine?
- How does the HPV vaccine work?
- Where is the HPV vaccine given?
- How effective is the HPV vaccine?
- Is there any reason to not get the HPV vaccine?
How Long The Hpv Vaccine Protects You
Studies have already shown that the vaccine protects against HPV infection for at least 10 years, although experts expect protection to last for much longer.
But because the HPV vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer, it’s important that all girls who receive the HPV vaccine also have regular cervical screening once they reach the age of 25.
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Is The Hpv Vaccine Required For School
Your child may need to get vaccinated against HPV before seventh grade, in some areas.
Vaccine requirements in the United States are determined by states and territories, not by the federal government. While most states do not require HPV vaccination currently, the list is growing.
Areas where HPV vaccination is currently required to attend school include:
What Are Hpv Vaccines
HPV vaccines protect against infection with human papillomaviruses . HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses, of which more than 40 are spread through direct sexual contact. Among these, two HPV types cause genital warts, and about a dozen HPV types can cause certain types of cancercervical, anal, oropharyngeal, penile, vulvar, and vaginal.
Three vaccines that prevent infection with disease-causing HPV have been licensed in the United States: Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix. Gardasil 9 has, since 2016, been the only HPV vaccine used in the United States. It prevents infection with the following nine HPV types:
- HPV types 6 and 11, which cause 90% of genital warts
- HPV types 16 and 18, two high-risk HPVs that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and an even higher percentage of some of the other HPV-caused cancers
- HPV types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, high-risk HPVs that account for an additional 10% to 20% of cervical cancers
Cervarix prevents infection with types 16 and 18, and Gardasil prevents infection with types 6, 11, 16, and 18. Both vaccines are still used in some other countries.
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