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HPV Vaccine for Adults
HPV Vaccine for Adults

HPV Vaccine for Adults

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for cervical cancer in women and genital warts in both genders. The vaccine for this virus is available for both men and women. It is potent for preventing women against the infection of the types of HPV responsible for genital warts and most of the cervical cancers. This vaccine is most potent during childhood or adolescence, but adults can also find HPV vaccine helpful.

Why Should Adults Get the Vaccine for HPV?

There is a highly prevalent sexually transmitted disease affecting both men and women; it is HPV. There is a tendency that almost every sexually active person will get HPV at one point in their lives or the other. Symptoms may not appear for HPV, but some can cause anal cancer and genital warts in both men and women. HPV is also responsible for some cases of throat cancer.

HPV infection in women can cause the cervix cells to experience abnormal growth, and for a little fraction of women, these changes can progress into cervical cancer. Each year, about 12,000 women get diagnosed with this problem, and about 4000 out of these do not survive the condition.

There were two available vaccines for HPV (Gardasil and Gardasil 9), and they prevent infection from most of the commonest cervical cancer-causing HPVs. Right now, only Gardasil 9 is in use in the U.S.

Gardasil 9 is potent for protection against all the types of HPV that Gardasil protects from plus HPV-31, HPV-33, HPV-45, HPV-52, and HPV-58. These types are also found to cause about 90% of cervical cancer cases. The FDA in October 2018 approved the use of Gardasil 9 in men and women between the ages of 27 and 45.

HPV vaccines are very potent against the types of HPV it covers. Every woman has a reduced risk of precancerous growths and cervical cancer. Though men do not develop cervical cancer, they can develop genital warts, anal cancer, and penile cancer, and even have a lower chance of spreading the disease to others. Gardasil 9 is approved for men between the ages 9 and 26.

The HPV vaccine protects against the virus; they are used for treating or curing the already existing infections.

HPV Vaccine Schedule for Adults

This vaccine is optional for men at age 21, but it is highly advised for men that have sex with men, the transgender, or those with a compromised immune system and are younger than 26.

The CDC recommends the use of two doses of the HPV vaccine. Though some adults may have received this vaccine when they were children or adolescents, it is advised they get the complete doses now if their schedule was not completed.

Has every Adult Gotten the HPV vaccine?

There are a group of people that should either wait for this vaccine or avoid it altogether. They are:

  • People who took a previous dose of the HPV vaccine and experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction from it
  • Those who had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the ingredients of the vaccine from the previous injection
  • People who are moderately or severely ill. Mildly ill people can still receive the vaccine.
  • Pregnant women

There is no data on the effect of HPV vaccine on pregnant women or their babies. Pregnant women should avoid the vaccine until further information is known. This vaccine is safe for breastfeeding mothers.

What are the ingredients of the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is not made from human papillomavirus and contains no viruses at all. The ingredients of the vaccine are just proteins that are in close resemblance to those in human papillomavirus. These proteins are produced from genetically modified bacteria, and they are purified and suspended in a sterile water-based solution.

Side effects and risks of the HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine appears to be very safe in both the clinical trials and real-world experience. Gardasil and Gardasil 9 amongst others have been approved for use since 2006 and 2014 and are now the only available vaccine in many countries, including the U.S.

Between 2006 and 2014, hospitals recorded about 25,000 cases of the vaccine's side effect and 90% of them were classified as non-serious. Most side effects of the HPV vaccine are minor, and they include the following:

  • A mild fever after the injection which may be present in 1 out of 10 people
  • One out of 30 people may experience itching at the site of the injection
  • One out of 60 people may have a moderate fever

These symptoms usually resolve without treatment. The following are the mild-to-moderate side effects that may result from the HPV vaccine:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Arm pain
  • Fainting

The following are the severe side effects though they are not commonly reported.

  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Guillain-Bare syndrome
  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • Death

There have been investigations by the government, academic, and public health investigators about the relationship between HPV vaccine and the occurrence of any severe event but no link has been found. Though there were 117 deaths as at September 2015, there were no direct links to the vaccine. The public health investigators concluded that the HPV vaccine is safe and unlikely to produce such results. These events occur in only a nominal rate when millions are administered with the vaccine. The administration of the vaccine before the occurrence of such an event appeared to be coincidental.

As an adult, you can get private HPV vaccine in London by contacting us.