Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States. There are around 14 million new cases each year. Most sexually active adults will become infected with one type of HPV at some point during their lives.
How Does the HPV Vaccine Work?
The HPV vaccine works much like any other immunization. The vaccine is injected to stimulate the production of antibodies. These antibodies will protect the patient from the virus when coming in contact with it in the future.
HPV vaccines have proven to be very effective when combating their target virus. Clinical trials found that Cervarix and Gardasil vaccines were 100% effective in preventing persistent cervical infections of types 16 and 18.
Who Should Receive the HPV Vaccine?
While it may seem strange, doctors recommend that children should receive the HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. The process includes two shots administered six months or more apart, finishing immunization before the patient turns 13.
Teenagers and young adults under 26 years old who were not given an HPV shot should talk to their doctor. They may be able to begin a series of shots to catch up. Patients over the age of 15 will require three injections over a six month period. The vaccination has been closely studied and proven to be safe with around 80 million doses distributed throughout the U.S. with no reported problems.
Parents or young women who would like to learn more should make an appointment with their Women’s Health and Menopause Center gynecologist to discuss the benefits of the HPV vaccine.
#WomensHealthandMenopauseCenter #OBGYN #HPVVaccine #HumanPapillomavirusVaccine #STDPrevention