HPV vaccination service - Protection against cervical cancer, genital warts & some other types of cancers.
You can book an HPV vaccination at our GP Clinic in Glasgow. Keen to learn more? Here we explain what the human papillomavirus (HPV) is, who is at risk of HPV and how you can protect yourself against it.
HPV (human papilloma virus) refers to a common type of virus which affects your skin and moist membranes lining parts of your body such as the mouth, throat and genital area like the cervix, vagina, penis and anus.
There are around 100 different types of HPV, most are harmless, but certain types can cause genital warts and potentially lead to cervical cancer.
Lots of people are likely to come into contact with HPV in their lifetime, in fact according to Cancer Research UK as many as 8 out of 10 people will be infected at some point in their lives. However, as HPV is mostly symptomless, the majority of these people will not know they have it. Only a small percentage of people with HPV will develop genital warts.
HPV is transmitted during sex, or skin to skin contact with the genitals.
The HPV vaccine is given as an injection of Gardasil 9 in the right arm. Gardasil 9 then immunises against 9 types of HPV.
Gardasil 9 can only protect and not treat HPV.
The HPV vaccine can be given to both men and women. Under the current NHS vaccination programme, Gardasil is offered to boys and girls in Year 8, to girls as part of a catch up scheme up until their 26th birthday and to men aged under 45 who have sex with men
The virus can be caught and spread by men and women. Genital warts is experienced by men and women and it is important to remember that while HPV is often associated with cervical cancer (which only affects women, or transgender men with a cervix), it can also cause cancers of the anus, penis, throat and mouth.
There is no treatment to eliminate HPV itself. HPV is a viral infection which is usually dealt with by your body's immune system.
HPV can be prevented with a vaccine.
No, the HPV vaccine can also protect against anal, penile, throat and mouth cancers. It is thought that increasing rates of mouth cancers, in particular throat and tonsil, maybe due to a greater proportion of cases being linked to HPV.
The strains 6 and 11 of the HPV virus are a common cause of genital warts, so the vaccine can also protect against this STI.
The 1st dose of the HPV vaccine is routinely offered to girls and boys aged 12 and 13 in school Year 8. The 2nd dose is offered 6 to 24 months after the 1st dose.
If you miss either of your HPV vaccine doses, speak to your school immunisation team or GP surgery and make an appointment to have the missed dose as soon as possible.
It's important to have both doses of the vaccine to be fully protected.
If you’re eligible and miss the HPV vaccine offered in Year 8 at school, it’s available for free on the NHS up until your 25th birthday for:
girls born after 1 September 1991
boys born after 1 September 2006
People who have the 1st dose of the HPV vaccine at 15 years of age or above will need to have 3 doses of the vaccine. This is because they do not respond as well to 2 doses as younger people do.
The service may be suitable for you if you:
• Are aged 9-45
• Are not pregnant
• Haven’t had an allergic reaction to any previous vaccination
• Feel well and don’t have a high temperature on the day of your appointment
It can be a challenge for some people outside of the UK to get the HPV vaccination, for that reason we have seen a huge influx of students, requesting the vaccine through our online service.
The vast majority of these international students are Chinese, as the vaccine is relatively difficult to access in China. As the vaccine is administered in 3 doses over 6 months, the academic year gives plenty of time to fit in appointments for each dose.
The most common (≥10%) local and systemic adverse reactions in females were injection-site pain, swelling, erythema, and headache.
The most common (≥10%) local and systemic reactions in males were injection-site pain, swelling, and erythema.
The HPV vaccine is known to protect against HPV infection for at least 10 years, although studies have shown that protection can last for much longer. However, because the HPV vaccine is not able to provide protection against every type of HPV that could cause cervical cancer, this is why all women who receive the HPV vaccine should have regular screening.