“CERVICAL CANCER VACCINATION: DO WE NEED IT?”
What is cervical cancer?
It is the cancer of mouth of uterus. It’s the most common cancer among women of our country.
What is the cause of cancer cervix?
Cause of cancer cervix is HPV (Human Papilloma Virus).
Can it be prevented?
Yes, we can prevent cancer cervix.”PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE.”
How it can be prevented?
It can be prevented by HPV vaccine. It can also be prevented by keeping good hygiene, regular screening with Pap smear, limiting your sex –partners, by keeping good sexual hygiene, avoiding smoking and alcoholism.
What is the ideal age for HPV vaccination?
11-12 yrs is ideal age.
What if I have crossed the ideal age for vaccination?
Still you can receive vaccination… Efficacy is good if given till the age of even 26 yrs.
What is the maximum age limit?
Guidelines say unto 26 yrs, but if you want you can have after that also. “SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING”
What is the minimum age for vaccination?
Minimum age is 9 yrs.
Why HPV vaccine is given so early?
Because HPV infection spreads thro’ sexual activity most commonly, so it is better to give HPV vaccine before the start of sexual activity or I must say before puberty onsets.
Is vaccine 100% effective?
No, it is not 100% effective. It gives protection mainly against two strains 16 and 18 which are responsible for 70% of cervical cancers. And efficacy is 95.8% against vaccine related strains.
How many doses should I take?
You should complete your dose schedule of minimum of 2 doses between 6-24 months if you are below 15 yrs of age and 3 if you are above 15 yrs.
What if I don’t complete my dose schedule?
Then you won’t be protected. Single dose is not protective.
What are dose schedule for this vaccination?
2 doses for girls under the age of 15 yrs and after 15 yrs you need 3 doses.
What are the routes?
Sorry to say, this vaccine is not given by mouth unlike polio one. Route gives some pain as it is an injection. “No pain, no gain.”
If I complete my dose schedule, then I am protected for whole life. Is it true?
No, you are protected for 10 yrs. After that according to antibody titres you may need vaccine again.
Will I be protected if I‘ve crossed the age of vaccination?
Yes, up to some extent. If you are exposed to vaccine related strains already, then no.
Does HPV vaccine give protection against other strains of HPV or other STD’s?
Vaccine is protective for 16,18,6 and 11 strains mainly. For protection of other sex related disease you need to wear condom.
What are the side-effects of HPV vaccine?
No medicine is without side-effects, so are the vaccines. Side- effects are mild irritation or pain at injection site or some temperature, nausea, vomiting or fainting attacks. But these are mild and will get settled in a day or two. To avoid fainting attacks, remain seated for 15-20 mins after vaccination.
Are there any major side- effects of this vaccine?
Practically almost nil major side-effects, except severe allergic reaction, that can be life-threatening.
What are the contraindications of HPV vaccine?
Pregnancy, severe illness or allergies and allergy to previous dose of vaccine.
Can I get pregnant during vaccination?
After how long I can become pregnant of completion of my dose schedule?
No effects on babies born to mothers having HPV vaccine has been reported, so no recommendations have been made.
What if I found myself pregnant and I have taken vaccine?
You need not to worry. Withhold your vaccine and complete your dose schedule after the birth of baby.
Do I need to have my pregnancy checked before vaccination?
Is there any contraindication to breast feeding during vaccination?
Do I need screening even after vaccination?
Yes, you need screening on same screening schedule as advised.
Will it cure my previous infection?
After how long of vaccination will I be protected?
Immunity is at its peak after 3rd dose of vaccine .You can say after one month of 3rd dose.
Key words: Vaccine,HPV, Dose, Protection, Age.
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