Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Information: What is HPV Infection & Vaccination Side Effects


The newly added HPV vaccination has been fairly controversial and many questions may surface when being faced with the option of vaccinating against it. First of all, what is HPV, and how is it contracted? Second of all, what is the human papillomavirus vaccine, and what are the vaccination side effects? Are there risks involved in receiving the human papillomavirus vaccine? Is the human papillomavirus vaccine effective against contracting the diseases associated with HPV infection? Finally, at what age is the HPV vaccine given and who should avoid it?

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When is the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Administered

There are two types of human papillomavirus vaccines available, Cervarix and Gardasil. Although both vaccines are fairly similar, only Gardasil provides extra protection against HPV types 6 and 11.

Young adults between the ages of 11 and 12 years old are recommended to receive the HPV vaccination in a series of three doses. The second dose is typically given at least one month after the first, while the third is administered at least six months after the first. The HPV vaccine can still be given between the ages of 13 and 26 if not administered as a pre-teen.

Effectiveness of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine

According to the CDC, the human papillomavirus vaccine has been deemed to be effective in reducing the occurrences of both genital warts and cervical cancer related to the human papillomavirus. It is imperative to receive all three doses for proper protection.

Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Side Effects and Risks

The CDC has conducted testing of the HPV vaccination in thousands of individuals world-wide with no serious side effects resulting. Pain at the shot location, along with fever, headache and nausea are all considered common side effects.

Pregnant women should not receive the human papillomavirus vaccination. Those under the age of nine and over the age of 26 should not be vaccinated against HPV. Any allergies to the human papillomavirus vaccine should be disclosed to a physician before continuing with the standard immunization schedule.

A local physician should be consulted when determining the best course concerning the HPV vaccination. All information provided is for educational purposes only and should not substitute the advice of a physician.

Mark Riegel, MD
Mark Riegel, MD
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