HPV vaccines help to prevent infection by certain strains (e.g. types 16 and 18) of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which may lead to cervical cancer in women. Some HPV vaccines can also help prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, anal cancer or genital warts in both women and men
HPV infection spreads from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact like sexual activity, or infrequently during delivery from an infected mother to her baby.
Most HPV infections, including with strains that can cause cervical cancer, do not have any signs or symptoms. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding such as bleeding after menstrual periods or after sex. There may also be changes in the amount, colour or smell of the vaginal discharge. It is recommended to have regular screening, e.g. Pap smear to detect cervical cancer early.
Who Should Receive the HPV Vaccine?As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all females up to age 17 years should receive 2 to 3 doses. Those aged 9 to 14 years at first dose should receive 2 doses (first dose at between 12 to 13 years old, and second dose between 13 to 14 years old), while those aged 15-17 years at first dose should receive 3 doses (at interval of 0, 1-2 and 6 months).
As part of the Singapore National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), females (18 to 26 years old) who have not been previously vaccinated, or lack evidence of past infection or immunity should receive 3 doses (at intervals of 0, 1-2 and 6 months).
It may also be given to females aged 9 to 17 years who have not been previously vaccinated, or lack evidence of past infection or immunity. Consult your doctor for more details.
Common side effects include:
Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.
Rare but serious side effects include: The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.
How Is the HPV Vaccine Given? It is given by injection into the muscle. It is given as a series of two or three doses, depending on the age when the first dose was given.