HPV Vaccine for Women

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). HPV can cause genital warts and cancers of the anus, cervix, mouth and throat, penis, vagina, and vulva. The HPV vaccines protect against infection from certain types of HPV, however, they do not get rid of the infection once it has occurred. 

Also known as the brand name Gardasil 9, the HPV vaccine protects against:

  • Human Papillomavirus types 16 & 18 – the two types that result in nearly 80% of cervical cancer. 
  • Human Papillomavirus types 6 & 11 – the cause of %90 of genital warts cases. 
  • Another five types of HPV  which are: types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 that can lead to cancer of the anus, vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, or throat.

Who are the vaccines for?

HPV vaccines helps protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical cancer. The HPV vaccines work best if administered prior to exposure to HPV. WHO recommends vaccination for girls aged 9-13 years as this is the most cost-effective public health measure against cervical cancer.

One type of HPV vaccine helps protect boys and men ages 9 to 26 against penile and anal cancer and genital warts caused by those same HPV types.

HPV vaccines do not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important for women to continue routine cervical cancer screenings.

How does HPV Vaccination help to prevent cervical cancer?

The HPV vaccines currently available protect against infection caused by the aggressive HPV 16 and 18 types which are known to cause at least 70% of cervical cancers.  The vaccines may also have some cross-protection against other less common HPV types which cause cervical cancer.

How long does the vaccine last?

The vaccine series helps protect against certain types of HPV for at least 5 years. Studies are under way to see how long the vaccine will last and if a booster shot is needed. A booster shot is another dose of the vaccine that is given after the first series of shots.

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