FDA (Food and Drug Admistration) introduced HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine first in 2006. This was given to prevent the occurrence of cervical cancer. Yet even though this vaccine is given for years now, exact information about this vaccine is not known by everyone. And still there is confusion regarding what is this vaccine and whether it is safe or should I give it to my child and so on. So let’s gather some information about this vaccine.
What is HPV?
HPV stands for Human papillomavirus which is transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse. During intercourse or through oral sex, HPV virus finds its way into genitals, mouth or throat and cause infection.
Sexually transmitted HPV virus comes in more than 40 different varieties and the type of virus you get infected depends upon the symptoms that it produce in your body. Like some HPV virus lead to genital warts whereas some cause cancerous cells. And therefore this virus is found to affect and cause cancer of cervical, vulva, vagina, penis, anus, head and neck too.
What are HPV vaccines?
There are two types of vaccines available which can protect females from the types of HPV virus that cause most cervical cancers. These vaccines also protect men and women against genital warts. And when you take these vaccines you should stick to the same type of vaccine for all three shots.
Gardasil is one such HPV vaccines approved by FDA in 2006 and it targets four strains of this virus which include HPV virus (HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18). HPV- 16 1nd 18 accounts for 70% of all cervical cancer where HPV-6 and 11 accounts for 90% of genital warts. Gardasil is mainly approved for young girls and women age from 9 to 26. However, if the women is already infected with the HPV virus, the vaccine will not prevent that strain from causing infection, but will protect against new infections which could be caused by other HOV strains.
How important is to get HPV vaccine?
Yes, it is important to get this vaccines, especially for women to protect from cervical cancer, which is found to cause approximate 4,000 deaths every year in The United States. Both types of HPV vaccines are important in protecting against cervical cancer.
The worst part of this infection is that it does not cause any clear symptoms and most people does not even come to know until they develop genital warts or show abnormal Pap smear.
Though HPV might not be the well-known sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) just like herpes and syphilis, it is actually the most common STI and that’s why immunisation against this virus is very important, especially for young girls. Hence it is very important to know more about this HPV vaccine from your doctor and get vaccinated.