HPV Vaccine - What you need to know

Written in collaboration with Vaksinin


The HPV vaccine protects the body from infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can cause skin infections, including genital warts. In addition, HPV can also cause several types of cancer, especially cervical cancer, and cancer of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, back of the throat, base of the tongue and tonsils.


HPV can be transmitted through direct contact, especially during sexual intercourse. Therefore, it is very important to receive this vaccine to lower the risk of transmitting HPV. 

  

What is the HPV Vaccine?


There are 2 types of HPV vaccines available in Indonesia.

  • 2 types of virus/bivalent (Cervarix): protects against 2 types of HPV that cause cervical cancer
  • 4 types of virus/quadrivalent (Gardasil): protects against 2 types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and 2 types of HPV that cause genital warts

Gardasil 9 is not yet available in Indonesia.


Who should be vaccinated against HPV?

HPV vaccination is not just for women. Men can be infected without symptoms and pass it on to their partners.

In addition, in men, HPV infection can also cause cancer of the penis, anus, and oropharynx (throat), as well as genital warts.

 

From what age can the HPV vaccine be given?

Since the age of 9 years old because

  • Have not been exposed to risk factors, have not had sex
  • More economical, just 2 doses
  • Better formed immunity

 

How many times is the HPV vaccination done?

Ages 9-14 years old: given 2 doses at months 0 and 6-15 months
Age >14 years old:
  • Bivalent: given 3 doses in 0, 1 and 6 months
  • Quadrivalent: given 3 doses in 0, 2 and 6 months

    If you have been vaccinated against HPV, do you need to get it again?

    There is no need. To date, studies have shown that one complete HPV vaccination is sufficient.


    How long can a person be vaccinated against HPV?

    Female: 55 years old
    Male: 26 years old

      Can you still get vaccinated if you've had sex before?

      Yes.

       

      Is it possible to get vaccinated while on your period?

      Yes.

       

      Can HPV vaccination cure HPV infection or cervical cancer?

      No. The function of the HPV vaccine is to prevent HPV infection which is a major risk factor for cervical cancer.

       

      Do people who are already infected with HPV still need the HPV vaccination?

      Yes, because the HPV vaccine can still protect against high-risk HPV types that have not yet infected them. Giving the HPV vaccine is safe and does not cause the HPV infection to worsen. However, keep in mind that the HPV vaccine cannot cure an existing HPV infection or improve abnormal screening results.

       

      Can I still be infected with HPV after the HPV vaccination?

      People who have been vaccinated against HPV can be infected with types of HPV that are not included in the vaccine. Especially if you have been infected with HPV before being vaccinated.

       

      Can pregnant women be vaccinated against HPV?

      HPV vaccination should be postponed after delivery.

       

      Is it necessary to do a pregnancy test before the HPV vaccination?

      There is no need. There is no evidence that vaccination can affect pregnancy or harm the fetus.

       

      Can breastfeeding mothers be vaccinated against HPV?

      Yes.

       

      Is the HPV vaccine safe?

      The HPV vaccine is very safe. During 15 years of follow-up, the HPV vaccine did not show any serious side effects. 

      Side effects that can arise include:

      • Pain, redness or swelling at the injection site
      • Dizziness or fainting
      • Nausea
      • Headache

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