HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is the virus responsible for cervical cancer in women and genital warts in both men and women. The HPV vaccine for adults is used to prevent this infection and it is highly effective for HPV especially the types responsible for cervical cancers and genital warts.
The best time to get HPV vaccination is during childhood because it is most effective at childhood or during adolescence. However, adults can also benefit from HPV vaccine as well.
HPV infection is highly common and at some point in life when people get sexually active they stand a chance of getting infected. This virus usually does not show any sign or symptom in the body so you won’t know when you are infected with it. In some cases, HPV can cause anal cancer and genital warts in both men and women.
HPV can also lead to throat infection. About 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer yearly and every year 4,000 women die from this condition.
In women, HPV infection triggers the abnormal growth of cells in the cervix and a small fraction of women who have this infection will develop cervical cancer.
HPV vaccine prevents the HPV infection responsible for the development of cervical cancer. There were two vaccines available for this virus until 2017, these vaccines are Gardasil and Gardasil 9, but in recent years after 2017, Gardasil 9 has become the most commonly used HPV vaccine.
In October 2018, the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) approved Gardasil 9 for both men and women within the ages of 27 - 45 years.
Gardasil 9, prevents HPV infections that cause cervical cancer, this vaccine covers; HPV-31, HPV-33, HPV-45, HPV-52, and HPV-58. These type of HPV are recorded to cause 90% cases of cervical cancer.
HPV vaccine for women are highly effective in preventing HPV infections by the different type they cover, and getting HPV vaccine reduces a woman’s risk of cervical cancer and also reduces precancerous cell growth significantly.
Men do not develop cervical cancer, but the HPV vaccine for men prevents penile cancer, genital warts, anal cancer — spread of HPV to sexual partners. Males from the ages of 9 – 26 years can take the Gardasil 9 vaccine.
It is important to note that the HPV vaccine for adults do not cure or treat HPV infection in men and women who already have one or any of the types of HPV infection, the vaccine only prevent it.
The time to get an HPV vaccine is optional for men who have crossed the age of 21 but it is highly recommended for a gay (men who have had sex with men), transgendered people, and those who have weak or compromised immune systems.
Also, HIV patients who are age 26 and below are expected to get this HPV vaccine. Health experts recommend 2 dose of the HPV vaccine even though some adults might have received doses of the vaccine in their childhood or during their teenage age.
However, re-vaccination in adulthood is highly recommended if the individual in question did not complete the vaccination schedule.
Yes, certain people are exempted from getting the HPV vaccine and some are advised to wait before getting it. The people in this category are:
Although there are no clinical records that the HPV vaccine is harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies, but more information still needs to be derived before a pregnant woman can be given the HPV vaccine.
For now, it is not advisable for pregnant women to receive the vaccine but women who are breastfeeding can receive the HPV vaccine because it is safe for them.
The HPV vaccine is not made from the human papilloma virus and it does not contain any virus. The main ingredients in the HPV vaccines are proteins and they are similar to those found in the human papilloma virus.
Bacteria that have been genetically modified produce these proteins, and then they are purified and mixed into a water-based solution that is sterile.
In real-world use and clinical trials, the HPV vaccine seems to be very safe. There have been about 25,000 reports of side effects of HPV vaccine to the American government from 2006 to 2014.
But over 90% of these cases were not serious, most side effects of the HPV vaccine are minor and it is commonly noticed that:
These symptoms usually go away quickly without any treatment some people might notice mild to moderate side effects of the HPV vaccine, and some of them are:
Adverse events or severe side effects can occur but they are not very common, some of these severe effects are:
Public health investigators, academia, and even the government could not identify or prove that the HPV vaccine was the cause of any severe side effect. In September 2015, 117 deaths were reported and none could be directly tied to the HPV vaccine. Then the public health investigators concluded that the HPV vaccine was unlikely to be the cause of these adverse events. These kinds of events occur at a certain rate in any tens of millions of people.
It is a simple coincidence that the vaccination occurred before each adverse side effect. HPV vaccines have been certified safe and it has been helpful in reducing the risks of cervical cancers in women.
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