The Walcote Practice is proud to be one of the first UK clinics to offer Gardasil 9, the new vaccine from Sanofi Pasteur MSD which protects against certain cancers and diseases caused by nine types of HPV (human papilloma virus).
Why is this relevant to my child/adolescent?
Although it may be uncomfortable to think about now, there will come a time in the future when your current child/adolescent may become a curious adolescent who is interested in being intimate with others. By acting now to vaccinate them against certain types of cancer-causing HPV which are transmitted via intimate contact, you could in fact help to protect them against these cancers in the future.
Exposure to HPV can happen with any kind of adolescent experimentation that involves genital contact with someone who has HPV (even if they don’t show symptoms). Sexual intercourse isn’t necessary, but it is the most common way to catch the virus. It is therefore best to receive the HPV vaccination before adolescent experimentation or sexual activity begins as the vaccine will not be effective if a HPV infection is already present. Nevertheless, even if such activities have commenced, the vaccine can still offer protection against the relevant types of HPV to which the person has not yet been exposed.
About the new HPV vaccination
Many sexually transmitted strains of HPV are common, highly contagious and can be very aggressive. Unfortunately these are responsible for causing the majority of cancers of the cervix in females, plus other genital cancers in both females and males, even in young people.
The original Gardasil vaccine protects against 4 types of HPV, offering 70% protection against HPV-related cancers of the cervix. However, the new HPV vaccination, Gardasil 9, provides a larger degree of protection in females, including protection against the following:
- 90% of HPV-related cancers of the cervix
- 85% of HPV-related vaginal cancers
- 90% of HPV-related cancers of the vulva
In both males and females, Gardasil 9 also helps protect against 90% of HPV-related cancers of the anus. Additionally it protects against the two types of HPV that cause 90% of HPV-related genital warts (HPV-6 and HPV-11). It is also very likely to provide beneficial effects against cancers of the penis, throat and mouth.
To provide the best levels of protection, the Gardasil 9 vaccine is licenced for both girls and boys from the age of 9 years. However, currently only the original Gardasil vaccine (which protects against just four types of HPV) is available on the NHS to girls aged 12-13 years as part of the UK national immunisation programme, and nothing is available to boys.
Gardasil 9 is administered in two doses up to the age of 14 years or in three doses over the age of 15 years, both courses over a six month period. Please note that Gardasil 9 is used to prevent, not treat, infection caused by the HPV virus. It is therefore not a substitute for regular cervical cancer screening and safe sex practices, both of which remain very important.
For more information about the Gardasil 9 vaccination, please click here or to visit the Gardasil 9 website, please click here. To discuss the vaccine further or to make an appointment for vaccination, please call The Walcote Practice on 01962 828715 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.