HPV Vaccine: What is it, to whom and when can it be administered?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus in the family Papillomaviridae.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a DNA virus in the family Papillomaviridae. Human papillomavirus, which has more than 200 types, is one of the types of viruses that cause sexually transmitted diseases. Approximately 40 types of the highly contagious human papillomavirus cause genital warts, while some types cause cancer.
HPV infections are among the common infections. Almost all people become infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Most HPV infections go away on their own over time. But sometimes HPV infections last longer and can cause cancer later in life. Most HPV infections are temporary and usually progress without symptoms. As a result, it is difficult to diagnose the infection in the early stages. In order to be protected from human papillomavirus, it is important to know the risk factors of infection and to monitor individuals at risk by a healthcare provider.
How is HPV Infection Transmitted?
Human papillomavirus, which has various transmission routes, is transmitted directly or indirectly through infected surfaces, lesions in the body, and sexually. The most common form of transmission is sexual. Polygamy and a low age of first sexual intercourse increase the risk of sexual transmission. As a result of HPV infection, warts appear in the genital area. Additionally, HPV infection causes some types of cancer. These types of cancer can be listed as follows:
- Vaginal, vulva and cervical cancers in women
- Penile cancer in men
- Anal cancers, tonsil, tongue base and back of throat (oropharyngeal cancer) cancers in women and men
How to Protect from HPV Infection?
HPV is transmitted through contact with infected surfaces and skin or through sexual intercourse. While monogamy was the most important way to protect against HPV in the past, today, with the developing health practices, vaccination is an important practice that provides protection against HPV. To protect against HPV, HPV-DNA test, screening with pap test and early diagnosis are important. Taking precautions to reduce the risk of HPV transmission plays an important role in reducing the risk of infection. These measures can be listed as follows:
- Getting Vaccinated: HPV vaccine is an effective and reliable method to protect against infection. Getting vaccinated at recommended doses in the appropriate age range prevents HPV and the diseases it causes and protects the body against the virus.
- Getting Screened for Cervical Cancer: HPV infection is a disease that causes cervical cancer in women. To prevent cervical cancer caused by HPV, it is important to get cervical cancer screening at the intervals recommended by your doctor.
- Using a Condom: One of the common ways HPV is transmitted is through unprotected sexual intercourse. To prevent sexual HPV transmission, sexually active individuals should use condoms correctly. In some cases, HPV can infect areas not covered by the condom and cause infection. Therefore, in addition to using condoms, having sexual intercourse with one partner is an important factor in reducing the risk of HPV transmission.
Effect of HPV Vaccine on Cancer
HPV is an important infection in the body that causes genital warts and cancer. The types of HPV that cause genital warts and cancer are different from each other. It usually takes years for cancer to develop in the body after being infected with HPV. HPV can also cause some other types of cancer, including cancer of the cervix and vulva, vagina, penis, and anus.
HPV infection can also cause other types of cancer, such as cancers of the mouth, throat, lips, nose, or salivary glands, as well as other head and neck cancers. One of the cancers caused by HPV is oropharyngeal cancers. Oropharynx (back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils) cancers occur as a result of HPV infecting the mouth and throat. This type of cancer is called oropharyngeal cancer. Symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer include long-term sore throat, earaches, hoarseness, swollen lymph nodes, pain when swallowing, and unexplained weight loss. However, in some cases, people may not have symptoms.
The immune system plays an important role in the body’s fight against HPV. Individuals with weak immune systems have difficulty protecting the body against HPV and have difficulty preventing health problems caused by HPV in the body.
HPV vaccine is an effective and safe method developed to prevent cancers in the reproductive system and other types of cancer caused by HPV. HPV vaccine prevents new HPV infections and supports the immune system. The HPV vaccine does not prevent existing infection and disease. Therefore, vaccination before exposure to HPV is an important method to prevent transmission of the virus.
What is HPV Vaccine?
HPV vaccine is a method of administration that provides protection against infections caused by the human papillomavirus. HPV vaccine can be administered to people who are not sexually active or people who are sexually active. Although HPV infection is not a single treatment method, the aim of the planned treatment is to treat the diseases caused by the virus. Appropriate doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for young people aged 11-12 years to ensure their protection before exposure to the virus. HPV vaccine can be administered from the age of 9 and it is recommended for every individual up to the age of 26. Additionally, the HPV vaccine can be administered to adults between the ages of 27 and 45, depending on the person’s risk status. The HPV vaccine is given in a series of two or three doses, depending on the age of first vaccination. People who received their first dose before age 15 usually need 2 doses of the HPV vaccine. People who receive their first dose at age 15 or older and younger people with certain immunosuppressive conditions need 3 doses. HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant people and the vaccine must be waited until birth. People who are known to be pregnant should postpone vaccination until after pregnancy. If a person is found to be pregnant after starting the HPV vaccine series, it is recommended that the second and/or third doses be administered after pregnancy.
HPV Vaccine and Dosages
In today’s health practices, it is recommended that the HPV vaccine be administered before the first sexual intercourse and before the age of 25. Two doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for people who receive their first vaccine before their 15th birthday. The second dose of the HPV vaccine is given 6 to 12 months after the first dose. Three doses of HPV vaccine are recommended for individuals who receive their first vaccination between the ages of 15 and 26 and for those who are immunocompromised. Three doses are also recommended for immunocompromised individuals (including those with HIV infection) aged 9 to 26 years. While it is recommended that 1-2 months pass for the second dose after the first dose, it is expected to take 6 months for the third dose of vaccine.
What are the Side Effects of HPV Vaccine?
The HPV vaccine may have some side effects depending on a person’s individual health condition. These side effects can be listed as follows:
- Pain, redness, swelling, fever or headache at the injection site after HPV vaccination
- fainting after vaccination
- Muscle or joint pain in the area where the vaccine was given
- Dizziness, nausea, visual disturbances and ringing in the ears
- Allergic reactions such as itching, rash, swelling of the face and throat, shortness of breath and increased heart rate
HPV is a type of virus that causes serious diseases such as cancer when infected. Taking precautions against HPV transmission is important to prevent possible illnesses. Having routine health screenings against the HPV virus recommended by your doctor ensures early diagnosis of HPV infection and prevention of possible disorders. You can protect your health and prevent possible diseases by having routine medical check-ups against the HPV virus.