What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV) ?
Genital HPV is a common virus that is passed from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. Most sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives though most will never even know it. HPV infection is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s.
Most high-risk HPV infections occur without any symptoms, go away within 1 to 2 years, and do not cause cancer. Some HPV infections, however, can persist for many years. Persistent infections with high-risk HPV types can lead to cell changes that, if untreated, may progress to cancer.
What is the HPV Vaccine?
Three vaccines are available to prevent the human papillomavirus (HPV) types that cause most cervical cancers as well as some cancers of the anus, vulva (area around the opening of the vagina), vagina, and oropharynx (back of throat including base of tongue and tonsils). Two of these vaccines also prevent HPV types that cause most genital warts. HPV vaccines are given in 3 shots over 6 months.
Who should get the HPV Vaccine?
Boys & Girls should receive the HPV Vaccine. Routine Vaccination schedule is:
- HPV vaccine is routinely recommended for girls 11 and 12 years of age. Doctors may give it to girls as young as 9 years.
- The HPV4 vaccine (the type recommended for prevention of genital warts in girls) may also be given in three doses to boys aged 9 to 26.
Is it Safe?
HPV vaccine does not appear to cause any serious side effects. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of any vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.
Get Vaccinations on-site at your school or office
American HealthCare Group has a professional and experienced staff that will come on location to administer vaccinations to students, teachers, and staff. Learn more on our Vaccinations for Students page.
Read More Online
Our sources for this blog post include:
- CDC.gov: HPV Vaccine Information for Young Women
- WebMD.com: HPV Vaccine: What you Need to Know
- Cancer.gov: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines