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Cervical Cancer (HPV) Vaccine
Cervical Cancer Vaccination (Gardasil)
Gardasil Vaccine Information:
What is Gardasil and what is it used for?
Gardasil is a vaccine that protects against diseases caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease associated with genital warts and is also responsible for nearly all cases of cervical cancer.

Gardasil protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. These types are associated with cervical cancer, pre-cancerous lesions of the genitals (cervix and vulva) and genital warts. HPV types 16 and 18 are found in approximately 70% of cervical cancer cases and HPV types 6 and 11 are found in approximately 90% of genital wart cases. These are the commonest (but not the only) viruses associated with cancer of the cervix which kills thousands of women in the UK every year.

How is Gardasil given?
Gardasil is given intramuscularly in three doses:

First injection: on a chosen date.

Second injection: ideally 2 months after first injection.

Third injection: ideally 6 months after first injection.

The three dose vaccination course must be completed to ensure full protection.

When should Gardasil be given?
The vaccine is most effective before exposure to HPV, i.e. before the onset of sexual activity, however it can only be administered to girls and young women aged 9 to 26 because this is the group that the clinical trials were performed on.

If you are already sexually active, you may still benefit from Gardasil. Even if you have been exposed to HPV it's unlikely that you have been exposed to all four types of the virus covered by Gardasil, so getting vaccinated now could help protect you against other types of the HPV virus if you are exposed to them in the future.

Who cannot receive Gardasil?
Gardasil should not be given to anyone who
  • is allergic to any of the ingredients of Gardasil
  • has developed an allergic reaction after receiving a previous dose of Gardasil
  • is suffering from an illness with high fever, or
  • is pregnant
In addition, please inform us if the person to be vaccinated has a bleeding disorder or a weakened immune system, for example due to genetic defect or HIV infection.

We recommend that patients do not attend on an empty stomach so as to avoid feeling faint after the vaccination.

What are the possible side effects of Gardasil?
Side effects are very uncommon as Gardasil is not a live vaccine. However possible side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting.

What is the difference between Gardasil and the vaccination used by the NHS (Cervarix)?
Gardasil protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 whereas Cervarix only protects against HPV 16 and 18. In addition, Cervarix is primarily given to 12 to 13 year old girls (although there are currently plans to begin vaccinating girls up to the age of 18) whereas Gardasil can be given to females aged 9 to 26 years old.

Further information:
  • Gardasil is only effective in preventing cervical cancer and genital warts, not in treating those already infected by HPV.
  • Gardasil may not fully protect everyone and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it is important to continue routine cervical cancer screenings when appropriate.
  • Vaccinated persons are not protected against other forms of sexually transmitted infections and barrier methods such as condoms are still advised.
Gardasil costs £140 per dose (three doses required) or a package deal of £395 is available for all three vaccinations.
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Cervical Cancer (HPV) Vaccine