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L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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The HPV (cervical cancer) vaccine and who it's for

​​Who the HPV vaccine is for and when it's given

The human papilloma virus ​(HPV) vaccine is offered at school to all Year 8 girls (aged 12 to 13). The vaccine works best when it's given at this age.  

The vaccine is given by school nurses in the upper arm. To provide long term​ protection,​ a course of two injections is nee​ded, given six months apart. 

The first injection is given during the first school term (usually September / October). The second injection is given six months later (usually in March / April)​​.​

Human papilloma virus (HPV) and what it does

HPV is a common virus that causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. 

As much as half the population will be infected with HPV at some time in their life. ​If your immune system doesn't clear the infection, it can lead to the growth of pre-cancerous cells in your cervix. If they aren't treated, it can develop into cervical cancer in some women. 

What the HPV vaccine does

Girls who have the HPV vaccine reduce their risk of getting cervical cancer by over 70%. The HPV​ vaccine protects against:

  • ​the two most common types of HPV that cause more than 74% of cervical cancer cases

  • two HPV types that cause about 90% of cases of genital warts

More​ information about the HPV vaccine is available on the NHS Choices website.

​Vaccine safety

We use the Gardasil brand of the vaccine, the same as the UK. 

The vaccine had extensive studies and clinical trials before it was licensed for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and continues to be monitored. ​

Tens of millions of doses have been given around the world and it's safety is well established.​ You can find out more about the HPV vaccine safety on NHS Choices website​.

​Side effects of the vaccination​

As with all vaccinations, it's not uncommon to experience mild soreness in the arm which wears off within a day or two. ​More serious side effects are extremely rare. 

More information a​bout side effects is available on the NHS Choices ​website.

Cervical screening (smear​ tests)

The HPV vaccine doesn't protect against all types of HPV. 

It's important you still attend for cervical screening (smear tests) when you reach age 25.​​

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