The HPV vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection. Certain HPV strains can cause cervical cancer, the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide.
What does the study in Scotland show?
A comprehensive study in Scotland found that no cases of cervical cancer were detected in women who received the HPV vaccine as teenagers. This suggests the vaccine is highly effective in preventing cervical cancer.
How does the HPV vaccine work?
The vaccine stimulates the immune system to develop antibodies against specific HPV strains linked to cervical cancer. These antibodies prevent the virus from infecting cells and causing cancer.
Does this mean cervical cancer will be eradicated?
While the study is promising, it’s too early to say definitively that cervical cancer will be eradicated. Continued vaccination efforts and cervical cancer screening remain crucial.
Should I get the HPV vaccine?
Yes! The HPV vaccine is recommended for all genders, ideally starting at age 11 or 12. It can also be beneficial for individuals up to age 26 who haven’t been previously vaccinated.
Are there any side effects of the HPV vaccine?
The vaccine is generally safe and well-tolerated. Some mild side effects like pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site may occur.
I’m already sexually active, is the vaccine still worth it?
Yes! The vaccine can still protect against HPV strains you haven’t been exposed to. It can also reduce the risk of cervical cancer even if you’ve had previous HPV infections.