• Monday - Friday
    9:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday - Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00
sexual health clinic logo
  • Monday - Friday
    9:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday - Sunday
    10:00 - 14:00
HPV Vaccine

HPV Vaccine

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is administered to protect the individual from the HPV-causing cancers like cervical cancer, some head and neck (mouth and throat) cancer, and some cancers of the anal and genital region. This vaccine can also protect against genital warts caused by HPV.

The HPV vaccine has been offered on the NHS to teenagers between the ages of 12-13 (in school Year 8 or 9). This started since September 2019 and is still on-going. This vaccine will routinely be administered to every 12 and 13 years old child (male and female) when they get to Year 8 or 9 in school. This is the first dose.

The second dose is usually administered between 6 to 12 months after the first dose. For total protection to be obtained, the two doses must be received. If anyone missed the vaccine during their school Year 8 /9, they could receive it at theNHSuntil their 25th birthday.

What is HPV?

HPV is the general name for a group of viruses. These viruses are of different types, but they are classified into the “high-risk” and “low-risk” groups. The high-risk infections are those that can lead to cancers,including anal cancer, genital cancer, cervical cancer, and head and neck cancer. The other types of virus can lead to conditions like warts of verrucas.

Almost every woman with cervical cancer (about 99.7% of them) has an already existing case of high-risk HPV infection. However, not all cases of head and neck cancer, genital cancer and anal cancer are caused by HPV infection. These cancers have their risks increased other factors like alcohol drinking and smoking.

Most HPV infections do not cause symptoms. Hence most infected persons do not know they have it; even at the severe level.

What are the types of HPV, and what do they cause?

HPV is a group of over 100 viruses, and more than 40 of them attack the genitals and their surrounding areas. HPV is prevalent and can easily be contracted by having any form of sexual contact with an infected person. This infection may clear out in some people at some point naturally without them having to undergo any kind of treatment.

However, this case is not so for everyone with the high-risk HPV. If treatment is not provided, the abnormal cells may continue growing until they develop into cancer.

The following are the types of cancer linked with the high-risk types of HPV:

  • Anal cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Cancer of the penis
  • Some of the head and neck cancer

The other types of HPV can cause the following whenthey get into the body:

  • Genital warts: some little growths or skin changes that occur around the genital or anal area. In the UK, they are the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection (STI).
  • Skin warts and verrucas (they do not appear around the genitals)
  • Wart in the vocal cord or voice box called laryngeal papillomas.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure if you do or do not have an STD/STI.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or 020 34751653

How does the HPV vaccine offer protection?

The current vaccine used in the HPV vaccination program is the Gardasil. This vaccine can protect against types 6, 11, 16, and 18 HPV. Above all, the types 16 and 18 are the causes of 70% of cervical cancer, and genital warts cases in the UK. They also cause some of the head and neck cancers and some of the genital and anal cancers.

The types 6 and 11 HPV are responsible for about 90% of the genital warts cases recorded in the UK. For this reason, using Gardasil on the girl child is effective against cervical cancer and genital warts.

However, the HPV vaccine offers no protection against the other STIs like chlamydia, and will not hinder pregnancy. So, if sex must be practised, it must be safe.

Who can receive the vaccine through the NHS vaccination programme?

The HPV vaccine is available for everyone until they turn 45. However, the vaccine is offered on the NHS for everyone between the ages of 12 to 25. At age 12 to 13, every child (both boys and girls) in England will be vaccinated.  Those who missed the vaccination can get theirs on the NHS from that age until their 25th birthday.

People between 25 to 45 years who never had a chance to be vaccinated will have to get theirs from their GP surgery or any GUM and sexual health clinic.

People should be vaccinated before they turn 15. When a person is 15 years old or more before receiving the vaccine, they will have to be given three doses as they will not respond very well to the vaccine. So, for full protection to be guaranteed, the vaccine must be gotten early.

You can contact us to learn more about the HPV vaccine.

What is the on-going change on the HPV vaccination programme?

Since July 2018, boys of 12 and 13 years were eligible for the HPV vaccine. This decision was made according to the advice from the joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) to help reduce the occurrences of cancers caused by HPV on both boys and girls.

The NHS saw no reason to arrange a catch-up programme for older boys since they are already benefiting from the herd protection.

All these arranged programmes are to ensure that every male and female child is protected from HPV infection from the 2019-2020 school sessions.

Why should the HPV vaccine be administered at such an early age?

HPV infection can be contracted by having direct contact with the skin (of the mouth, fingers, hands, and genitals) of an infected person. This means that this virus can spread through any form of sexual activity, even touching.

The HPV vaccine can only offer full protection if administered before the patients come in contact with the virus. The age of 12 and 13 was chosen because it is believed that they have not yet become sexually active.

There is an excellent chance that most unvaccinated people will contract the infection at some point in their lives. However, not all of them will suffer the effects because the immune system may find a way to get rid of the virus on its own. In cases where the immune system fails, and the infection stays in the body for some years, some damages may begin to occur.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure if you do or do not have an STD/STI.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or 020 34751653

HPV vaccine for men that have sex with men (MSM)

Men that have sex with men may not be protected from HPV since they have not had the same benefits as the girl’s protection programme. But from April 2018, MSM who are 45 years old or more can receive free HPV vaccination on the NHS whenever they walk into any HIV or GUM and sexual clinic in England.

HPV vaccine for the transgender

The trans women (those who were once male) can also get free HPV vaccination on the NHS with the same as the MSM if they have a similar risk of the MSM. However, trans men (those who were once female) are only eligible for the vaccine if they are sexually involved with other men, and are not older than 45 years of age.

If the trans men had the full dose of HPV vaccine before they became men, then they do not need any more prescriptions.

How is the HPV vaccination administered?

The HPV is administered in two doses on the upper arm with the second dose given six months after the first. This vaccine is free for children in school Year 8 until their 25th birthday.

To be fully protected from the virus, it is essential to receive the two doses, but those who got their first shot at age 15 will need three shots.

MSM and the transgender will need three doses of the vaccine, but if they are below 15, they will need two.

For those who need their three doses, the second dose will be administered at one month after the first. The third should be within 12 months after the second dose was received.

How long does the HPV vaccine offer protection?

According to studies, the HPV vaccine protects against the infection for not less than 10 years, though experts believe the protection to last longer than that. HPV vaccine does not protect against every type of cervical cancer-causing HPV;so, ladies of 25 years and above should regularly undergo cervical screening.

TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH

Getting tested is not only quick and easy, it’s the only way to know for sure if you do or do not have an STD/STI.

Put Your Mind at Ease Today

or 020 34751653