Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination
HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection which usually shows no symptoms and goes away by itself, but can sometimes cause serious illness.
HPV is responsible for:
- Almost all cases of genital warts and cervical cancer
- 90% of anal cancers
- 78% of vaginal cancers
- 25% of vulvar cancers
- 50% of penile cancers
- 60% of oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils).
The HPV vaccine is designed to prevent HPV infection and reduce the risk of associated health issues.
How can I protect myself from HPV?
The HPV vaccine is highly effective in preventing HPV infection. Additionally, practicing safe sex with the use of condoms can help reduce the risk of transmission.
Who should get the HPV Vaccine?
The HPV vaccine is recommended for both males and females. In Australia, the National Immunisation Program (NIP) provides free HPV vaccination for adolescents aged 12-13 years. Catch-up vaccines are also available for young individuals up to 25 years of age. The 9vHPV vaccine is specifically recommended for adolescents and young adults aged 9–25 years, people with severely immunocompromising conditions, and men who have sex with men.
How many doses of the HPV vaccine are needed?
The recommended vaccination schedule varies based on age and immunocompetence. For adolescents and young adults aged 9–25 years who are immunocompetent, one dose is recommended.
For individuals aged ≥26 years, three doses are recommended with an interval of 2 months between dose 1 and dose 2, and 4 months between dose 2 and dose 3.
People with severely immunocompromising conditions, regardless of age, are also recommended to receive three doses with an interval of 2 months between dose 1 and dose 2, and 4 months between dose 2 and dose 3.
Are there any side effects of the HPV vaccine?
Like any vaccine, the HPV vaccine can have some side effects. Common side effects include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, swelling at the injection site, mild fever, or headache. Serious side effects are rare.
If you have any concerns or questions, it’s important to discuss them with our Pharmacist.
Can the HPV vaccine protect against all types of HPV?
The HPV vaccine protects against the most common high-risk types of HPV that are associated with cancer and other diseases. However, it does not protect against all HPV types. Regular cervical cancer screenings, as recommended by healthcare professionals, should still be continued.
Can adults get the HPV vaccine?
While the HPV vaccine is primarily recommended for adolescents, adults up to the age of 45 can also receive the vaccine. It is important to consider factors such as previous exposure to HPV and future risks of HPV exposure when deciding to vaccinate adults.
Can the HPV vaccine be given to pregnant women?
AHPV vaccines are not recommended for pregnant women due to limited evidence of vaccine use in large populations of pregnant women. If you are planning to become pregnant or are already pregnant, it’s important to discuss vaccination options with your doctor.
Who can get vaccinated at National Pharmacies?
South Australia offers it to persons over the age of 10 years old, New South Wales offer it to persons over 5 years old, and Victoria offer it to persons over 12 years old.
Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Pricing: Members $166.75 per dose, Retail Price $188.60 per dose.
1. World Health Organization (WHO) – Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/human-papillomavirus-(hpv)-and-cervical-cancer
2. Australian Government Department of Health – National Immunisation Handbook: Human Papillomavirus (HPV): https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/contents/vaccine-preventable-diseases/human-papillomavirus-hpv
3. Australian Government Department of Health – National Immunisation Program Schedule: https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/2023-07/national-immunisation-program-schedule.pdf
4. Australian Government Department of Health – Gardasil 9: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccines/gardasil-9
5. Better Health Channel – Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Immunisation: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/human-papillomavirus-hpv-immunisation
6. Cancer Council Australia – What is HPV?: https://www.cancer.org.au/what-is-hpv