New vaccination against HPV
The importance of vaccination against HPV
Inoculation against HPV has a major role in preventing cancers caused by this virus. There are more than a 100 different types of HPV. Vaccination only protects against 2, 4 or 9 of these respectively, but it is still advised, because these few types (HPV 16 and 18) are behind 70% of all cervical cancer cases caused by HPV. Further types (6 and 11) against which the inoculation provides protection, cause genital warts, which although benign, are difficult to treat.
Why do we recommend the new vaccination against HPV?
- It provides protection on a bigger range (against 5 additional types of HPV that are high risk regarding cancer)
- It also protects against the most common types, 6 and 11, that cause genital warts
- It can be administered to 9-26 year-old boys and girls
Which types of HPV does the Gardasil 9 vaccine protects against?
- the most common types, 6 and 11, that cause genital warts
- against types 16 and 18, which can cause cervical and anal cancer
- against 5 additional types of HPV that are high risk regarding cancer (31, 33, 45, 52 and 58)
The new vaccination thus protects against all but one of the high risk HPV types.
If I already received the older vaccination, can I still receive the 9-component one?
Yes, but the 3 vaccines need to be administered the same way, because protection against the additional 5 or 7 HPV types that the new vaccination provides can only be achieved that way.
What if I am older than 26 years?
The new vaccination was examined among 9-26 year-olds, currently the vaccination is only available to them. Above the age of 26, we still recommend the 4-component vaccination, that protects against types 16 and 18, which are exceptionally important regarding cancer, and types 6 and 11, that cause warts.
What is the effect of the vaccination in case of an existing HPV infection?
The role of the vaccination is prevention, it does not cure the disease. However, it provides protection against other types of HPV.
I have already had an HPV infection which my body successfully fought off. Then why should I get vaccinated?
Because it is not guaranteed that a new infection or a different type can also be fought off by your body. Also, it can be transmitted to a partner to whom it might cause problems. We are responsible not just for our own health, but for that of our partner as well.
The new vaccination protects against diseases caused by HPV infection, therefore it drastically decreases the chance of cervical cancer to develop.
On rare occasions, other types of HPV can also cause cervical cancer to develop, therefore screening is still an important part of prevention. Regarding cervical cancer screening, we advise the co-test mentioned in the newest commendations, which consists of cytology and HPV screening.