The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is offered to every S1 pupil in Scotland. Evidence shows the HPV vaccine helps protect pupils from HPV-related cancers.
What is HPV?
HPV is a common virus which usually produces no symptoms. This means that people may not even know they're carrying the virus.
In most people HPV clears up quickly. But carrying HPV makes you more likely to develop certain types of cancer. It also means you can pass HPV on to others.
HPV is usually spread through intimate sexual contact. Condoms don't provide complete protection from HPV.
Why should I be vaccinated?
Getting the vaccine now protects you against future risks. The HPV virus can lead to cancers like:
head and neck cancers
anogenital cancers - for example, anal, penile (penis) cancer, cancer of the vagina, and cancer of the vulva
The HPV vaccine also protects you against over 90% of genital wart infections.
Practise safer sex
HPV vaccination does not protect against other infections spread during sex, like chlamydia. It also does not prevent pregnancy. It's still very important to practise safer sex, even if you've had your HPV vaccine.
What are head and neck cancers?
There are more than 30 areas within the head and neck where cancer can develop, including the:
mouth (including the lips)
voice box (larynx)
nose and sinuses
area at the back of the nose and mouth (nasopharynx).
Head and neck cancers are most common in men and those assigned male at birth. Over 1,200 people are diagnosed each year in Scotland.
What's cervical cancer?
Cervical cancer develops in the cervix, which is the entrance to the uterus (womb). It's caused by HPV.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women and those assigned female at birth who are under 35 years old. HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine does not protect you against all types of HPV that can cause cancer, so you’ll still need to go for regular cervical screening (smear tests) when you reach 25 years of age.
Read about cervical screening (smear tests)
HPV immunisation between the ages of 11 and 13, followed by regular cervical screening when you reach 25, offers the best possible protection against cervical cancer.
Who is eligible for the vaccination?
Every person aged 12-13 will be offered the HPV vaccine free of charge.
Read more about the vaccines offered to young people
When will I be vaccinated?
To give you the best protection, you'll be offered the vaccine in S1. Your local health board will be in touch with your appointment details. You do not need to do anything to arrange your appointment.
Most people will only need 1 dose of the vaccine.
Source: NHS Inform
AI Website Builder