Teenagers both Male and Female need HPV vaccination to prevent HPV infections that can cause cancers of the anus, cervix, vagina, vulva and the mouth/throat area and in addition to genital warts.
HPV has over two hundred strains. Different types of HPV are classed as either high risk or low risk, depending on the condition they can cause.
The Human Papilloma virus(HPV) is a common group of viruses that causes cervical cancer and genital warts.
HOW IS HPV INFECTION SPREAD?
The HPV virus is very common and easily spread by sexual activity. As much as half the population will be infected at some time in their life.
In most cases, the virus does not do any harm because the immune system gets rid of the infection. But in some cases, infection persists and can lead to health problems.
Although most teenagers don’t start having sex until after they are 16 years of age, it’s important that they get this protection early enough and a good time is in the teenage years. Getting the vaccine as early as possible will protect them in the future.
Using a condom during sex can help to prevent HPV infection. However, as condoms do not cover the entire genital area and are often put on after sexual contact has begun; Condoms are no guarantee against the spread of HPV.
KINDS HPV VACCINES
Two vaccines have been produced to prevent HPV. These are Quadrivalent and Bivalent.
Bivalent vaccine protects against two strains of HPV (HPV 16 and 18) which cause the majority of cervical cancer.
Quadrivalent vaccine protects against four strains of HPV (HPV16,18,6 and 11). It can protect against genital warts as well as cervical cancer.
Teenagers worldwide aged 12 to 13 years are now routinely offered the HPV vaccine. HPV vaccine is given as series of 3 doses:
1. dose now
2. dose 1 to 2 months after dose 1
3. dose 6 months after dose 1
Additional(booster) doses are not recommended routine vaccination. This HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys.
Certain people should not get the HPV vaccine or should wait before getting it:
- Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of the HPV vaccine.
- Yeast allergies-contraindication to a quadrivalent.
What should I look for after vaccination?
- Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behaviour changes.