Skip to content

The Cervical Cancer vaccine: The HPV Vaccine

Cervical cancer is a significant health concern for women worldwide, but there’s a powerful tool available in the fight against it: the HPV vaccine. In this blog post, we’ll explore what the HPV vaccine is, why it matters, and how it can help protect you and future generations from this potentially deadly disease. An overview by our expert Gynaecologist Dr Anshika Lekhi.
Understanding HPV:
Before delving into the vaccine, let’s understand the virus behind most cervical cancer cases—Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a group of related viruses, some of which can lead to cervical cancer. It’s a common sexually transmitted infection, and many people will contract HPV at some point in their lives.
The Importance of the HPV Vaccine:
The HPV vaccine is a groundbreaking advancement in healthcare. Here’s why it’s so crucial:
1. Prevents Cervical Cancer:
The primary reason for getting the HPV vaccine is its ability to prevent cervical cancer. Certain strains of HPV, notably HPV-16 and HPV-18, are responsible for about 70% of all cervical cancer cases. By vaccinating against these high-risk types, we can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
2. Protects Against Other Cancers:
Besides cervical cancer, HPV can lead to other cancers like anal, vaginal, vulvar, and throat cancer. The vaccine provides protection against these as well.
3. Herd Immunity:
Widespread vaccination contributes to herd immunity, meaning that when enough people are vaccinated, the virus has a hard time spreading. This helps protect those who can’t get vaccinated, such as individuals with weakened immune systems.
The HPV Vaccine Explained:
The HPV vaccine is typically administered in two or three doses over a few months, depending on the age of the recipient. It’s recommended for both boys and girls, starting at age 11 or 12, although it can be given as early as age 9 and up to age 45.
Type of vaccines available in India 
1. Gardasil 9 (9-valent HPV vaccine): Gardasil 9 is one of the most widely known HPV vaccines. It protects against nine different strains of HPV, including those responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, as well as some responsible for other HPV-related cancers and genital warts. It is approved for use in both males and females.
2. Cervarix: Cervarix is a vaccine that primarily protects against two high-risk HPV strains (HPV-16 and HPV-18) that are associated with cervical cancer. It was primarily used in females.

3. Gardasil: The original Gardasil vaccine protected against four HPV strains, including those responsible for most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. A newer version, Gardasil 9, provides broader protection.
4.Cervavac: the make in India vaccine by serum institute. It’s a quadrivalent vaccine. It’s very affordable and available in govt. sector also. But more studies are pending on its efficacy.
HPV vaccines are typically administered as a series of shots, and the number of doses and age at which they are recommended can vary by country and region. These vaccines are most effective when administered before individuals become sexually active and exposed to HPV. 
Cost of cervical cancer vaccine
It may vary from 2000-11000 Indian rupees depending upon the brand.
Addressing Concerns:
Some people have concerns about the safety of vaccines. It’s essential to know that extensive research and rigorous testing have gone into the HPV vaccine’s development. The vaccine has a well-established safety record, and the benefits of preventing cancer far outweigh the minimal risks of vaccination.
The HPV vaccine is a potent tool in the fight against cervical cancer and related diseases. By getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same, we can work towards a future where cervical cancer is far less common. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the HPV vaccine’s suitability for you or your loved ones.
Let’s continue spreading awareness about the HPV vaccine and take proactive steps to protect our health and the health of future generations.
Dr Anshika Lekhi
Senior Gynaecologist & IVF specialist 
Director Thefertilife, Gurgaon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »