An Overview Of HPV Vaccine


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is sexually transmitted and most cervical cancers are linked to this virus. Immunization with the HPV vaccine can help reduce the impact of cancers from HPV infection. You can get yourself vaccinated against HPV from any affordable health clinic in your area. Shared below are a few things that you should know about the HPV vaccine. 

About HPV Vaccine

Different strains of the human papillomavirus spread through sexual contact and the HPV vaccine can be effective in preventing cervical cancer. But, the vaccination should be given before virus exposure.  Also, this vaccine is effective in preventing vulvar and vaginal cancer in women. In addition, it can prevent anal cancers, and neck, throat, and mouth cancers in both men and women. Theoretically, vaccinating boys against HPV might also protect girls from infection by reducing the chances of transmission of the virus. 

Who Should Be Vaccinated? 

As per the CDC, the HPV vaccine should be given to both girls and boys between 11 and 12 years of age. Ideally, the vaccine should be administered before boys and girls have sexual contact. This is because, after infection of HPV, the vaccine might not be as effective. Moreover, response to the vaccine can be better at younger ages when compared to older ages. It is recommended that all children between 11 and 12 years of age receive two doses of the HPV vaccine separated by a gap of six months. Studies show that the two-dose vaccination schedule is effective for children under 15 years of age. 

Young adults who start the vaccination later, at ages 15 to 26, should get at least three doses of the vaccination. If you are above the age of 27 and below 45 years, you can visit any low income medical clinic in your area and discuss with the doctor whether you should get the HPV vaccine. 

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated? 

Pregnant women and people who are ill should not be vaccinated. If you suffer from any severe allergic conditions, you should tell the same to your doctor. Also, if you have some serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of the HPV vaccine, you should not get yourself vaccinated. 

The HPV vaccine is found safe in many studies and the effects are generally mild. Swelling and redness at the injection site are the common side effects of the HPV vaccine. Fainting may also occur at times. To reduce the risk of fainting, you should remain seated for fifteen minutes after the vaccination.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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