HPV vaccines are given to protect against HPV infection
Most of the vaccines normally act against the high risk HPV
viruses namely HPV types 16 and 18
All children around the age of 11 and 12 ( pre-adolescent )
should get the HPV vaccine
Normally two doses are given 6 months to 12 months apart.
Sometimes a third dose may also be needed as per the recommendation of the
Over the age of 12 three doses of HPV vaccine are recommended
The vaccine is recommended for women through age 26 and men
The HPV vaccine is not infectious and is made up of virus
like particles (VLP s). These VLP’s are immunogenic and they stimulate the
formation of Antibodies. High levels of antibodies are protective against the
HPV infections especially 16 and 18
The vaccines however do not prevent other sexually
The vaccines are highly effective in preventing the HPV
infection especially when the vaccine is taken before the person becomes
sexually active. Some of the vaccines provide almost 100 % protection against
the future infections.
The vaccination can also prevent HPV in the anal region.
HPV infections are responsible for the cervical cancers and
the combined strategy of vaccination and screening can help reduce the
incidence of cervical cancers.
The HPV vaccines are safe and there are no serious side
effects that have been known to occur due to these vaccines.
The vaccines have also been tested in pregnancy and can be
safely used during pregnancy also
It is recommended that women who have had a previous HPV
infection or those who have had abnormal PAP previously should also get the
vaccine. It is believed that the vaccination can prevent them from high risk HPV
infections. However, the vaccine cannot cure the previous infections or the
cervical PAP smear changes.
Women who have had an HPV vaccination should continue being
screened for cervical abnormalities and cervical cancers as vaccinations do not
protect against all HPV infections.