The HPV vaccine is normally given as a series of 2 injections into the upper arm. Pupils who get their first vaccination dose over the age of 15 will need to have 3 injections.
What vaccine's used?
The GARDASIL vaccine is routinely used in Scotland.
I missed my immunisation, can I still have it?
To get the best protection it's important you've all the required doses. If you miss the immunisation session in school, you'll be recalled to the next one.
What type of consent do I need in order to receive the HPV immunisation?
You should've been given a consent form and leaflet by your school. You and your parents, or carer, should discuss the information before agreeing to have the immunisation. When you're given the consent form, your parents will be asked to sign it and return it to school even if you aren't going to have the vaccine.
We recommend you get agreement from your parent or carer, but it isn't always necessary. More information on young people's right to consent.
If you, or your parents or carer, have any questions about having the immunisation, speak to your nurse first if you can, or your GP.
Does the immunisation protect me from other sexually transmitted infections?
The HPV vaccine is designed to protect you against the 2 types of HPV that cause 75% of cervical cancer cases.
These 2 types of HPV also cause about*:
- 90% of anal cancers
- 85% of head and neck cancers
- 78% of vaginal cancers
- 50% of penile cancers
- 25% of vulval cancers across the world.
(*Statistics vary country to country).
The vaccine also protects against 2 other types of HPV that cause about 90% of genital warts cases.
However, having this immunisation won't protect you against any other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia.
How do we know the vaccine's safe?
All medicines (including vaccines) are tested for safety and effectiveness by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The vaccine meets the high safety standards required for it to be used in the UK and other European countries. The vaccine's been given to millions of people worldwide.
Once they're in use, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored by the MHRA.