Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: An Effective Vaccine that Children Should Get
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines safeguard people from being infected with certain types of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer or genital warts. The vaccine is highly recommended for children aged 11 or 12 years, but the vaccine can be given from ages 9 to 26 years as well. According to health officials, the HPV vaccine is safe, effective and helps to prevent HPV infections.
HPV infection has a dramatic impact on global health, with more than 500,000 cervical cancer cases diagnosed each year worldwide and thus this should not be ignored. Each year, around 260,000 deaths are caused globally due to cervical cancer. According to Research Dive, HPV is a leading cause of cervical and other cancers such as cancer of the vulva, penis, and vagina. Thus, increasing cases of HPV diseases across the globe is driving the growth of the global human papillomavirus market. By 2027, the global human papillomavirus market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.0% and generate a revenue of US$ 9,283.6 million from 2020 to 2027.
What is a HPV Vaccine?
HPV vaccines can help in protecting people from being infected with certain types of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer or genital warts. The vaccine is a series of shots that is given over 6-month timeframe. The HPV vaccine works best when all shots are completed. Though the vaccine doesn’t treat an HPV infection, it may protect a person against several types of the HPV virus other than the one causing the infection.
The HPV vaccine is highly recommended for children aged 11 or 12 years, but the vaccine can be given from ages 9 to 26 as well. The best time for children to get the vaccine is before they become sexually active. This is mainly because the vaccine works best if given before there is any chance of infection with the HPV. If given at this time, the HPV vaccine can prevent almost all infection caused due to the virus.
Is Getting HPV Vaccine Effective?
Research shows that the HPV vaccine is effective, and a study published in the Pediatrics Journal underlined the effectiveness of the HPV vaccine. Researchers studied women aged 13 to 26 years between 2006 and 2017, observing their protection against different strains of the HPV. The result was encouraging as the vaccine seemed to protect the women against the strains covered by the vaccine, and the women who got it were less likely to be infected by other strains. This showed the cross-reactivity of the HPV vaccine against other HPV strains.
The HPV vaccine came out in 2006 and 2010 for girls and boys respectively. It went through years of extensive clinical trials and testing to make sure that it was safe & effective before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it. Similar to other vaccines, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly monitors its safety. Since the introduction of the HPV vaccines there was about 71% decline in HPV infections in teenage girls who received the vaccine.
What are the Benefits of HPV Vaccine?
One of the significant benefits of the HPV vaccine is that it can reduce the risk of a child getting cervical cancer or genital warts caused by the most common types of HPV infection. The vaccine also helps in protecting against anogenital cancers. However, research is under way to see if the vaccine is effective or can prevent oral cancers also.
Moreover, the U.S. FDA tested the HPV vaccines on thousands of people before approving it, and there were no serious side effects to it. The result showed that one can’t get HPV from the vaccine.
Why are Boys Recommended to Get HPV Vaccine?
According to some studies, there are more males getting cancer of the oropharynx from HPV than girls getting cervical cancer. This is undoubtedly disturbing enough to convince all parents of preteen boys to get their sons the HPV vaccine.
Another reason for getting the boys vaccinated is that there is currently no approved screening test for HPV in boys. If a boy gets infected, he could go years without knowing it and spread it or develop cancer, without any clue.
Is it Safe to Get HPV Vaccine during COVID-19 Pandemic?
As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may not seem like a priority for people worried about keeping themselves socially distanced and safe. The HPV vaccine is especially important for adolescent, children, and young adult cancer survivors. According to UCLA Health, it is safe to proceed with HPV vaccinations, and the academic medical center strongly encourages everyone to receive all of their routine vaccinations during the pandemic. The HPV vaccine produces antibodies against the human papilloma virus, which means that it will not interfere with the ability of the immune system to respond to the coronavirus.
The Bottom Line
The HPV vaccine is safe and effective that helps to prevent cancer. Parents need to understand that it is essential to vaccinate their children to prevent cancer and HPV infections. It is a shot worth getting.