HPV Vaccine : Who needs it and how it works
Most cervical cancers are associated with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus. Immunization with the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of contracting cervical cancers.
Who should get HPV vaccine and when?
HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for girls and women aged 9 to 26 who have not started to engage in sexual activity. It also protects boys and men aged 9 to 26 from anal cancer and genital warts caused by the same HPV types.
HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series. Additional (booster) doses are not recommended. HPV vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Pregnant women should not get this vaccine. The vaccine appears to be safe for both the mother and the unborn baby, but it is still being studied. However, receiving HPV vaccine when pregnant is not a reason to consider terminating the pregnancy.
Does the HPV vaccine carry any side effects?
Overall, the effects are usually mild. The most common side effects of HPV vaccines include soreness and swelling or redness at the injection site. Dizziness or fainting may occur in some following the injection. In addition, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue or weakness may also occur.