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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

Drug Class: Commonly Known As: Category:
HPV, Human Papillomavirus, Cervarix, Gardasil

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - What is it for

HPV vaccines help to prevent infection by certain strains (e.g. types 16 and 18) of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which may lead to cervical cancer in women. Some HPV vaccines can also help prevent vaginal and vulvar cancer in women, anal cancer or genital warts in both women and men

HPV infection spreads from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact like sexual activity, or infrequently during delivery from an infected mother to her baby.

Most HPV infections, including with strains that can cause cervical cancer, do not have any signs or symptoms. Symptoms of cervical cancer may include abnormal vaginal bleeding such as bleeding after menstrual periods or after sex. There may also be changes in the amount, colour or smell of the vaginal discharge. It is recommended to have regular screening, e.g. Pap smear to detect cervical cancer early.

Who Should Receive the HPV Vaccine?
As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all females up to age 17 years should receive 2 to 3 doses. Those aged 9 to 14 years at first dose should receive 2 doses (first dose at between 12 to 13 years old, and second dose between 13 to 14 years old), while those aged 15-17 years at first dose should receive 3 doses (at interval of 0, 1-2 and 6 months).

As part of the Singapore National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), females (18 to 26 years old) who have not been previously vaccinated, or lack evidence of past infection or immunity should receive 3 doses (at intervals of 0, 1-2 and 6 months).

It may also be given to females aged 9 to 17 years who have not been previously vaccinated, or lack evidence of past infection or immunity. Consult your doctor for more details.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - Side Effects, Precautions, and Contraindications

What side effects can Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine cause?

Common side effects include:

  • Some people may feel faint after the vaccination
    • Sit for 15 minutes to avoid fainting
  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
    • You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief
    • You may take paracetamol for pain relief
  • Headache, fever
    • You may take paracetamol to treat the headache or fever
  • Muscle ache
    • These side effects usually go away on its own

Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse.

Rare but serious side effects include:
The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following:

  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.

Before taking Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine, what precautions must I follow?

  • You are allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant
  • You are taking any other medications
  • You are currently not feeling well and having a fever
  • You have a weak immune system due to an illness such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or cancer
  • You are currently on medications which may weaken your immune system (e.g. high dose steroids)
  • You have a history of bleeding disorders

What food or medicine must I avoid when I take Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - Dosage and How to Use

How should Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine be used?

How Is the HPV Vaccine Given?
It is given by injection into the muscle.
It is given as a series of two or three doses, depending on the age when the first dose was given.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

What should I do if I overdose?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - Handling

How should I handle Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine safely?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - Storage

How should I store Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine?

Keep away from children;#Keep in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight;#

How should I dispose of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine safely?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine - Additional Information

  • Updated on Thursday, September 30, 2021
  • Article contributed by PSS National Medication Information Workgroup PSS National Medication Information Workgroup

    The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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