Why is HPV vaccination recommended?

  • One out of 4 women who die of cervical cancer is from India. 
  • every seven minutes one woman dies of cervical cancer in India.
  • Cervical cancer kills roughly 67,477 Indian women annually.
  • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has been detected in 99.7% of all cases of Cervical Cancer worldwide. 
  • This is the highest level of the associated pathogen known to be a major cause for a human form of Cancer.
  • HPV types 16 and 18 are responsible for82%of cervical cancers in India.

HPV Vaccination offers the best possible protection against cervical cancer.   

What are HPV virus strains against which Cervical Cancer vaccine offers protection?

The quadrivalent vaccine* available in India targets four strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) -- HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18. Both have 70% efficacy against Cervical cancer. [HPV-16 and HPV-18 account for about 70% of all cervical cancers.HPV-6 and -11 cause about 90% of genital warts.]

Is there an Age limit for HPV vaccination in India?

HPV vaccination is recommended for all sexually active adults. In India, it can be given until age 45. The best time is between 9-13 years of age before they become sexually active. This is because the effectiveness of vaccines would depend on whether or not you are already exposed to cervical cancer-causing HPV virus strains. 

Once a woman becomes sexually active she may be exposed to one or more strains of HPV and although Vaccination can be taken still be taken (there are no side effects of HPV vaccine), it may not guaranty protection if she is already infected with HPV 16 or HPV 18. But since there are other strains of HPV, The vaccine will offer her protection against the other strains.

According to various studies, women in the 55-65 age group are at the highest risk of cervical cancer. However, many women have been known to have fallen prey to it in their 30s and even in late 60s. 

How to get vaccinated against HPV?  

The quadrivalent HPV vaccine (Gardasil) needs to be taken thrice within a span of 6 months. The second shot is two months after the first shot and the third booster dose is 6 months after the first dose.The best way to get information about HPV vaccination is by visiting a gynaecologist. 

What is the best time for married women to "Catch Up" with HPV Vaccination?

For married women with no previous immunized against HPV, they would have to visit gynaecologists for initial screening which would decide whether the Vaccination will be of any help or not. HPV vaccination cannot be taken during Pregnancy, and if you plan to take it before pregnancy you need to keep in mind that it would take 6months to complete the Vaccination schedule.  To this effect, Post-Partum offers the best opportunity to doctors for HPV vaccination for women. Results [1] indicate that acceptance and compliance to vaccination are best after Delivery and it is absolutely safe to take it during lactation. 

How much does HPV Vaccine cost? Where to get it in Kolkata?

Gardasil costs about 3000/- per dose. HPV Vaccination is available at Care IVF, Kolkata. A visit to the clinic will give you all the necessary details. For adolescent and unmarried women, vaccination can be done without screening.  For Married women, vaccination should be done only after they have been screened for HPV, so they will need to see a gynaecologist first.