1. What are cervical cancer vaccines?
Vaccines are inactivated viral/bacterial particles, which on inoculation in the body helps in providing protection against when the active organism invades the body. The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is responsible for most cervical cancers and the vaccine helps in protecting against the virus.
2. Is the vaccine safe and recommended?
The HPV Vaccine is safe for use in all healthy women. The Indian Academy of Paediatricians (IAP) and the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI) recommend its use.
3. Who should get the vaccine and when?
As HPV infection is acquired through the sexual route, the vaccine should be ideally given to women before sexual debut. Recommended age is 10 to 25 yrs. Women after engaging in sexual intercourse may still be offered the vaccine with limited benefits.
4. Can men be given the vaccine too?
As HPV also causes cancers and warts in the male reproductive organs, they may also be offered the vaccines.
5. What is the vaccine schedule?
Three doses over a period of six months, 0/1/6 or 0/2/6 depending on the vaccine you opt for. There is no particular time for giving the vaccine
6. Who will give me the vaccine?
The Vaccine should be administered by a doctor in the deltoid muscle of the upper arm in the sitting/lying down position. Usually there are no adverse effects except some local irritation in some women
7. What brands of the vaccine are available in the market?
CervarixTM (GSK) and Gardasil ® (MSD)
8. How much does the vaccine cost?
Each dose of the Vaccine costs between Rs 2500 - 3000
9. Does vaccination mean I will never get cervical cancer?
The vaccine prevents 75% of cervical cancers. Screening in the form of regular pap smears still need to be done after vaccination.