The vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer
Cervical cancer is an infectious disease. There are plenty of viruses of that kind which are transferred through sexual intercourse.
Who is in danger?
At the age of 20 to 30 years about 60% of the population might have had contact with those viruses.
The viruses can integrate themselves into the cells of the cervix. Therefore they get rid of their outer cover and integrate into the cells genotype – at first to reproduce and spread. Sometimes these are inactive for a while but cause cancerous growth later on. That happens especially with the viruses of the high-risk group.
Vaccination against the infection
Three medications exist which we can inoculate. The vaccination causes the production of antibodies against HPV, actually against the outer cover of the virus. The antibody will be located in the mucous membrane of the cervix and will destroy the viruses before they can integrate into the cells.
However, they do not have an effect on those viruses that already are integrated into the cells. That means the vaccination is only a protection for those who are not infected yet.
Studies have shown a significant success of vaccinating young women of the age from 9 to 26 who were HPV negative and had not had sexual intercourse before. A relevant decrease of cell changes in the years following the inoculation was observed.
The examination in order to take precaution of cervical cancer will still be necessary. Experts believe that your protection will be at about 70% if you are immunized before you had the first contact with the viruses. If the vaccination took place after the first sexual events there would still be a protection probably more than 30%.
Ninefold vaccination controls most kinds of viruses
Unfortunately, the available vaccination does not control all kinds of viruses. But since April 1, 2016 we use a new ninefold vaccination that can control most kinds of viruses.
The HPV-vaccination is on the market since 2006. By now it is rated as absolutely secure and recommended for girls between the age of 9 to 14 years.
The vaccinations will take place in the course of half a year.
For girls between the age of 9 and 14 years, only two vaccinations are needed, as the immune response is stronger in this age. Beginning at the age of 15 years three vaccinations are necessary. A catch-up vaccination for girls up to 18 years will still be covered by the public insurance.
There have been many discussions concerning the side effects of the HPV infection. The side effects can be pain at the place of injection, reddening, lethargy, pain of the joints and slight headaches. Allergies can also occur. In rare cases they might be so severe to cause a shortness of breath and even kidney failure.
Those possible reactions have the same extent as in other vaccinations. A connection between the vaccination and singular unsolved cases of death could not be proved.
The vaccination is recommended for girls between 9 and 18 years old (by the STIKO: a committee concerning vaccinations). It could be that there is a benefit for all women but indications for that are missing so far.