Human Papilloma Virus and Vaccines

How do HPV vaccines work?

Gardasil® and Cervarix® are HPV vaccines and they work like any other vaccine. They boost your immunity system and protect it against viral infections. They help preventing HPV infection but could not eliminate existing HPV infections. The shots should be administered 3 times within 6 months interval. Both vaccines are made of a very small part of the Human Papilloma Virus that cannot create infection.

How much are Human Papilloma Virus vaccines effective?

Both HPV vaccines Gardasil® and Cervarix® are effective against types 16 & 18 which cause cervical and anal cancers. Gardasil® is also effective against HPV types 6 & 11 which cause genital warts.

Who should receive Human Papilloma Virus vaccines?

HPV vaccination is recommended for girls between the ages of 11 – 12 years. Also it is recommended for women until the age of 26 years. Usually women should get this vaccination before becoming sexually active and exposed to HPV. It is also administered to males between the age of 13 and 21 years old. It is very important to receive the 3 shots at the age of 11 – 12 years so that the vaccine produces higher antibodies that fight infection better than if received at an older age.

Pregnant woman should wait until after delivery to get vaccinated. Even after vaccination, women should continue to be screened for cervical cancer.

Women older than 26 are not included in the vaccination schedule since studies have not demonstrated the possibility of preventing HPV in population older than 26 years old.

How much are Human Papilloma Virus vaccines safe?

FDA has agreed on both vaccines. They were tested around the world and studied on several women. No serious side effects were depicted. Nausea, dizziness and fever were shown on some of studied cases.

Regular check up is an important part of a woman’s health. Cervical screening is very important in depicting cancer. This test detects early precancerous cells and treats them accordingly. Waiting for a problem to surge up then see a doctor is too late. Regular screening test or Pap smear is vital every year for every woman who is sexually active.