The World Health Organisation recommends the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for girls aged 9-14 years to protect against HPV infection.
HPV infection is associated with an increased risk in cervical cancer.
There are many different types of human papillomavirus.
There are 14 human papillomaviruses which are high risk for causing cancer.
These include HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 66 and 68.
The types of cancer caused by HPV infection are:
The HPV vaccines all provide effective protection against HPV types 16 and 18 which are known to cause around 70% of cervical cancer cases worldwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there different types of HPV vaccination?
There are 3 main types of HPV vaccines being used worldwide- a bivalent, a quadrivalent, and a nonavalent vaccine.
The bivalent vaccine protects against only HPV type 16 and 18.
The quadrivalent vaccine also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 which are known to cause genital warts.
The nonavalent vaccine provides protection against nine types of HPV- types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58.
How is the HPV vaccine taken?
The HPV vaccine is an injection given into the deltoid muscle in the upper arm.
If taken before the age of 15 years, only 2 doses of the vaccine are required.
Three doses of the vaccine are needed if it is given between the ages of 15-26 years or in people who are immunocompromised.
What are the side effects of the HPV vaccine?
Common side effects of the HPV vaccine include:
Pain, redness or swelling around the injection site
Some people may also have an allergic reaction to the vaccine but this is a rare side effect.
Who cannot have the HPV vaccine?
The HPV vaccine should not be given to:
People who have had a serious allergic reaction to the HPV vaccine or any ingredients in the vaccine (e.g. yeast).