HPV Vaccinations – Harmful or Helpful
There is a common misunderstanding that women are being secretly harmed by the HPV vaccine. According to a recent observational study in The BMJ, (British Medical Journal), girls aged 12 to 13 who received the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine were noted to have a “dramatic” reduction in pre-invasive cervical disease in later life. The research also found that unvaccinated women were also protected since the advent of vaccination for HPV – this could be a result of ‘herd immunity’.
Below are 3 things to know about the HPV Vaccine:
–Both male and females can get HPV: This is very common, in fact, most people clear the virus without knowing that they’ve ever had it. However, HPV can cause cancer when it persists in the cells, usually over a long period of time. The vaccine protects against approximately 90% of cervical cancers. It also provides protection against most of the genital cancers in men caused by HPV infection. In addition, HPV has been implicated in an alarmingly growing number of throat and tonsil cancers in men and women. The vaccine has proven effective here as well.
– The vaccine works best if it is given before you’re sexually active: The vaccine does work best if it is given at a younger age and before exposure to HPV – which is, before sexual activity commences. Younger people create more antibodies to the vaccine than those aged in their late teens, so do not wait!
–The Vaccine is safe: The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety of the World Health Organization has reviewed all published and emerging data about the vaccines in real world use and declared HPV vaccines safe for use seven times so far. It cannot cause cancer or any other HPV-related diseases because the vaccine does not contain any live or killed HPV virus. It is made from a single protein like the one the virus has on its outer coat. After receiving the vaccine your body generates antibodies which are used to fight the real virus if you’re ever exposed to it.
If you have been hesitant to get the HPV vaccination yourself or to encourage your loved ones to do so, my hope is that this blog made your decision a little easier. As a physician at VPFW my primary goal is to be as proactive as possible to prevent illness when possible. My second goal is to protect my patients from misinformation. Your health is my priority and always will be. If you’d like to make an appointment to see me or any of my colleagues – click, here or call 804.897.2100. We look forward to hearing from you soon!