The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a type of virus that gets transmitted through skin contact with an infected person. People who are not vaccinated earlier can still contract the virus at some point in their lives. It is still possible to get infected with HPV from your spouse even if you wait until marriage to have sexual intercourse. Medical experts recommend administering the HPV vaccine to your child before they get older to prevent them from getting infected. This article looks into the reasons why you should get vaccinated for HPV and the risks you may encounter if you do not get the vaccine.
Who Needs to Get the HPV Vaccine and When?
The HPV vaccine is given to both children and adults to offer protection against the Human Papillomavirus. The vaccine is routinely recommended for children who are 11 to 12 years old. However, there are situations where it can be given to children as young as 9 years. It is important for both boys and girls to get the vaccine before their first sexual contact. However, giving the vaccine to children at a young age should not mean the start of early sexual activity. Adults and teenagers from the age of 15 to 26 should receive three doses of the HPV vaccine since they began the program series later.
Why Should You get Vaccinated for HPV?
The HPV vaccine protects against the four primary types of HPV and can significantly reduce your chances of getting genital warts or cervical cancer. It also provides long lasting protection by boosting your immune system to fight against the virus. It is also important to vaccinate your child from a young age because most people who contract the HPV virus do not exhibit any symptoms or signs of health problems.
Although most HPV infections may fade away by themselves in a span of 2 years, some strains tend to last much longer resulting in certain types of cancer and other health complications. The HPV vaccine provides protection to your child as they grow through their puberty or into adulthood. Being vaccinated for HPV prevents you from contracting genital warts, cervical cancer and other types of cancer.
Getting the HPV vaccine at an early age is essential because children at this age have not been exposed to HPV. Once infected, the vaccine is ineffective and may require immediate medical attention for treatment. Another reason why you should get vaccinated for HPV is that the vaccine is not recommended for people beyond the age of 26. This is because enough studies have not been carried out for people who fall at this age bracket. Therefore, they stand a higher chance of contracting the virus compared to people who were vaccinated earlier.
What are the Risks if I Don’t Get the Vaccine?
Failure to get the vaccine at a young age doesn’t mean that you can’t still get the HPV vaccine. However, you are more likely to get the infection at some point in your life. This is because your body’s immune system may be too weak to offer protection against the HPV virus. People who are sexually active and didn’t get the vaccine earlier risk suffering from different types of cancer such as vulvar, vaginal, cervical, anal and penile cancer. The vaccine is also considered ineffective if you happen to get the HPV virus. However, it can only protect you against other types of HPV strains.
Is the HPV Vaccine Safe?
Any vaccine that is administered to children or adults needs to be tested rigorously before they can be distributed widely. Before being released to the public, the HPV vaccine was clinically tested on thousands of people to prove its effectiveness in preventing the virus. According to experts, the HPV vaccines have been used for years now, which means that there are very slim chances they can cause a serious reaction in your body.
Who can be Exempted from Getting the HPV Vaccine?
People who have had a life-threatening reaction to any component of HPV vaccine or experienced allergic reaction to yeast should not get the vaccine. If the person getting the vaccine happens to be suffering from severe allergies, it is important to seek medical attention from your doctor. Expectant women should also be exempted as they may have some complications during pregnancy.
The fact that the HPV vaccine can protect you from the Human papillomavirus is reason enough to get vaccinated. It offers protection from different types of cancer and other health complications. Failure to get the vaccine lowers your immunity system making your body vulnerable to attacks by the HPV virus.