About 14 million people nationwide are infected with human papilloma virus (HPV) each year. The HPV vaccinn is the only vaccine available to prevent six types of gender-specific cancer. Here today to discuss the virus and vaccine is Dr. William Cosgrove, M.D., pediatrician and President of the Utah Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Cosgrove explained that there are about 100 types of HPV viruses (which is spread through unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner), and some of these types cause cancer. The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention for your child and is administered via a shot in two doses, six months apart at your doctor’s office.
Read below for all the details about the vaccine:
Who should get the vaccine?
The vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control or CDC and the Utah Department of Health’s Cancer Control Program
The vaccine is recommended for preteens—specifically between the ages of 11 and 12 so that they are protected before ever being exposed to HPV.
- If your children are older than 11 or 12 they should still be vaccinated.
- You can get the vaccine up to age 26.
Is the HPV vaccine safe?
The FDA and the CDC have given the HPV vaccine an excellent safety record. Many studies have been conducted over the past 10 years and there is no evidence that the HPV vaccine causes reproductive problems.
- Nearly 90 million doses of HPV vaccines have been given between June 2006 and March 2016.
- The FDA has continually monitored the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine since it was approved in 2006.
*(Source for all stats: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAQ about HPV Vaccine Safety).
Can the HPV vaccine cause cancer?
The HPV vaccine is made from only a single protein from each type of the cancer-causing virus. It can’t cause HPV, and it can’t cause any type of cancer.
Does the vaccine cause infertility?
Before the FDA approved the HPV vaccine, its safety was studied extensively. And since it was approved in 2006, there has been no evidence of the vaccine causing infertility in either males or females.
*(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention FAQ about HPV Vaccine Safety).
Are there side effects?
At the injection site, there can be side effects including redness or tenderness, possibly a low-grade fever or nausea. These are very similar to side effects that can be experienced with other vaccines or medications.
It’s important to point out that the long-term protection against cancer far outweighs any potential risk of short-term side effects.
How long does the effectiveness of the vaccine last?
The HPV vaccine has been studied now for a decade and during that time there has been no sign of the vaccine losing any of its effectiveness in individuals that received the vaccine that long ago.
Talk with your doctor and visit CancerUtah.org/HPV for more information.
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