HPV Vaccines to Prevent Cervical Cancer

February 15th, 2024 | 10:31 am

Cervical cancer in women is the second most prevalent type of cancer and one of the major causes of death due to any sort or form of cancer. Cervical cancer occurs when women get cervix infections. The cervix is the opening between the vagina and the uterus. Ninety-nine percent of the cases in which cervical cancer is confirmed and identified are associated with HPV virus infection that belongs to the high-risk human papillomavirus category. HPV is a very common virus that can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. Most HPV infections clear up without treatment and produce no symptoms, but viruses that stay for longer than that may result in cervical cancer among women. There are several preventive measures to stop cervical cancer from developing, but vaccination is the most efficient means so far. The invention of HPV vaccines has revolutionised the field of preventative medicine remarkably as they serve as a potent means of ensuring prevention from cervical cancer.

Understanding HPV and Cervical Cancer

Understanding the relationship between HPV and cervical cancer is important before discussing vaccines. HPV is a widespread sexually transmitted disease with more than 100 strains, some of which are classified as high-risk and cause cervical cancer. If HPV persists, it can result in changes in cells of the cervix, leading to the growth of cancerous tumours over time. Among women around the world, this consists of the fourth most common type of malignancy, almost invariably caused by infection with human papillomavirus (HPV).

What is the HPV Vaccine?

The purpose of HPV vaccinations is to guard against infection by specific HPV strains, particularly those that are linked to cervical cancer and other associated illnesses. These vaccinations function by inducing the production of antibodies by the immune system, which can fend off HPV infection in the event of future exposure. There are currently many HPV vaccinations on the market, such as Cervarix and Gardasil 9, which each target a particular strain of the virus. But, you must note that vaccination cannot treat an illness caused by a specific strain of HPV if you have already been exposed to it.

Who Should Get an HPV Vaccine?

Before engaging in sexual activities that might expose them to HPV, people of all sexes and genders should get vaccinated. Always keep in mind that the HPV vaccination can only shield you from strains of the virus that you haven’t already come into contact with through an infected partner.

  • Although it may be safely given to children as young as 9, the HPV vaccine is part of the immunisation regimen for youngsters between the ages of 11 and 12. The intention is to immunise kids before they start having sex and run the danger of exposure.
  • Adults up to the age of 26 are also advised to get the vaccination. 
  • The HPV vaccine is most effective when administered before exposure to the virus, which is why it’s recommended for preteens and young adults.

Who Should Not Get an HPV Vaccine?

The HPV vaccination is not advised in the following cases:

  • Individuals who have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the HPV vaccine or any component of the vaccine should not receive it.
  • Pregnant women should typically avoid the HPV vaccination. However, if a woman finds she is pregnant after beginning the immunisation series, she should delay the remaining doses until after the pregnancy.
  • You have a mild to severe sickness. You may have to wait until you are healthy before getting the vaccination. Inquire with your provider when it is safe to get the vaccination shot.

What is the HPV Vaccination Schedule?

The vaccination will be administered to you via injections. The age of the patient at the time of the first dosage determines the number of injections required. 

  • Ages 9 to 15: Two injections are required to ensure complete protection. Six to twelve months after receiving the first shot, you should receive the second one. Your immune system is very robust at this age. Early vaccination offers the best defence against HPV infection and the highest immune response.
  • Ages 15 and up: Three shots are required to obtain complete protection. One to two months following your initial shot, you should get your second shot. Six months following your initial injection, you should have your third dose.

HPV Vaccine Side Effects

The HPV vaccination is safe. However, like with any immunisation, you may experience moderate side effects after receiving the injection. Before you go home, your provider will check on you to make sure everything is well.

Some of the most prevalent side effects are:

  • At the injection site, there may be soreness, swelling, or redness.
  • Exhaustion or a headache.
  • Joint or muscle pain.
  • Lightheadedness.
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Though rare, severe allergic responses.

The Importance of HPV Vaccines

  • Protects Against Cervical Cancer: HPV vaccines significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer by preventing infection with high-risk HPV strains.
  • Prevents other HPV-Related Diseases: In addition to cervical cancer, HPV vaccines also protect against other HPV-related diseases, including genital warts and cancers.
  • Herd Immunity: By vaccinating a significant portion of the population, HPV vaccines can create herd immunity, reducing the overall prevalence of HPV and related diseases in the community.
  • Safe and Effective: Numerous clinical studies have shown the HPV vaccinations’ safety and effectiveness. Before being authorised for use in the general population, these vaccinations are put through extensive review and rigorous safety testing.

How Long Is the HPV Vaccine Effective?

Among the vaccinations that are most effective is the HPV vaccine. Studies have shown that HPV vaccines provide long-lasting protection against HPV infection and related diseases. It is optimal for the HPV vaccination to be administered years before engaging in any sexual activity with another person. It is thus advised to get vaccinated between the ages of 11 and 12. Nonetheless, getting the HPV vaccination is still a smart idea, even if you’ve previously had sex or are aware that you’ve had the virus. Current research suggests that the immunity provided by HPV vaccines lasts for at least 10 years, and ongoing studies are evaluating the need for booster doses.


Cervical cancer and other HPV-related disorders may now be safely prevented with the use of HPV vaccinations, which mark a major advancement in preventive healthcare. People may take proactive measures to protect their health and support the global effort to lower the incidence of cervical cancer by being vaccinated in accordance with advised standards.

Giggles Hospitals is a renowned medical facility renowned for its state-of-the-art medical equipment and creative patient care methods. Giggles Hospitals is dedicated to providing patients with the best care and treatment choices possible, with a focus on excellence in healthcare delivery.


Q1. Can the vaccination treat an HPV infection I already have?

Ans. Vaccination against HPV won’t cure an existing HPV infection. Nonetheless, it can shield you from contracting other HPV strains. Consult your doctor to determine the necessary tests or treatment if you have an HPV infection.

Q2. When is the best age to get the HPV vaccine?

Ans. Depending on your sexual history, the latest recommendations suggest being immunised up to age 45. While you are 11 or 12 years old, before you start sexual activity and while your immune system is at its healthiest, it is ideal to get vaccinated. The vaccination is safe to provide to children as young as nine.