Dose 1: Any time
Dose 2: 6 months after the first dose
Possible side effects. Localised pain at the injection site and headaches. Furthermore, the vaccine is safe enough to be administered to children.
Length of appointment. 15-30 minutes
Cost of HPV vaccines. £200 per dose
Initial consultation fee applies to new patients.
The HPV vaccine protects against 9 different types of HPV: 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.
Types 16 and 18 are the main cause of 80% of cervical cancers within the UK, with the additional cause coming from types 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. Types 6 and 11 cause around 90% of genital warts.
Therefore, the HPV vaccine is a great preventative measure and reduces your chances of experiencing the complications associated with HPV exposure.
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We will not administer the HPV vaccine without first discussing it with you.
In order to be most prepared and leave plenty of time for questions & discussions, we will ask you to fill out a simple questionnaire.
We will begin by assessing your medical & sexual history, any symptoms you may be experiencing and discuss any questions you may have.
Administer 1st Dose
If it is still appropriate to proceed with the HPV vaccine (and you would like to), we will proceed to administer the vaccine.
Administer 2nd Dose
In approx. 6 months after the first dose, we will request you to book in for your second HPV vaccine at your convenience.
Medicine is a complicated subject and sometimes these guidelines don’t always hold the answers.
For example, treating an STI in a patient who has developed a resistance to routinely used antibiotics.
Unlike most private clinics, we have medical consultants here to help you navigate through such problems and get you on the right track in no time.
How does the HPV vaccine work?
The vaccine works in the same way as other vaccinations. It pushes the body to produce HPV antibodies, which fight off future encounters with HPV. These antibodies bind to the virus to prevent it from infecting cells.
Does the HPV vaccine cure HPV?
No. The vaccine does not cure HPV but is used as a preventative measure should you become exposed to the virus.
There is no current cure for HPV.
Who should get vaccinated against HPV?
The HPV vaccine is offered to young boys and girls aged 12 and 13 as part of the NHS vaccination programme. Another variation of the HPV vaccine is offered to gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (MSM) up to 45 years of age.
Those who should get vaccinated against HPV are:
- MSM, gay, or bisexual men.
- Some transgender people, such as trans-women, if their risk is similar to the risk of MSM, and trans-men if they have sex with other men and are aged 45 years or younger.
- Anyone who may be of an increased risk of getting HPV, such as those with multiple partners.
- People who missed their HPV vaccination in school.
Those who should not get vaccinated against HPV are:
- Pregnant women
- Those who have had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose of the HPV vaccine.
You should delay getting your HPV vaccine if you are generally unwell at the time.
How effective is the HPV vaccine?
HPV vaccines are amongst the most effective vaccines available today.
Before the vaccine was introduced, 40 % of women between the ages of 20-24 had high-risk types of HPV. Since it’s introduction to UK schoolchildren in 2007, there has been an 86% decrease in HPV 16 and 18 in women aged 16-21 in England.
When is the best time to have the HPV vaccine?
The best time for someone to receive HPV vaccine is in their early teen years. This is why HPV vaccine is being given to 12-13 years old girls and boys because:
- This is the time before they become sexually active
- This is when their immune system is very responsive to the HPV vaccine
The vaccine is most effective in the first 10 years after vaccination, which coincides with their phase of life when they are most likely to get infected.
Although HPV vaccine has the best outcomes when given before one becomes sexually active, the vaccine should offer protection at any age of life.
- The vaccine will protect against the types of HPV you have not yet been exposed to.
- The HPV vaccine will also gives some degree of cross-protection to other types.
Can I have the HPV vaccine if I already have HPV, or have been exposed to it?
Yes. You can still be vaccinated as it will prevent you from becoming exposed to other types of HPV.
Will taking the HPV vaccine prevent me from getting warts?
The vaccine provides protection against HPV types 6 and 11, which are responsible for 90% of genital warts. Evidence suggests a reduction in diagnoses of genital warts after routinely offering the vaccine, but the vaccine itself is designed to prevent cancers, not genital warts.
I have had the 4-Strain HPV vaccine in the past. Can I also get the 9-Strain HPV vaccine?
Yes. It is worth considering a jab with 9-strain HPV vaccine which can serve as a booster as well helps in offering protection against additional 5 high risk strains of the virus.
The effect of the HPV vaccine is expected to last for 10 years, and probably for much longer although there is no clear evidence if that is the case. Currently there is no recommendation for a routine booster but a booster 10 years after the primary course of vaccination may be considered in individual cases.
Does the vaccine protect against all types of HPV?
No. Our routine vaccine protects against the following types: 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58. The vaccine routinely offered by the NHS protects against the following types 6,11,16 and 18.
Where can I get the HPV vaccine?
You can get the HPV vaccine at:
- NHS funded health care providers, such as GP’s and vaccination centres
- Clarewell Clinics
- School, if you are 12 to 13 years old
- Sexual health clinics
Are there any side effects?
Very common side effects of the HPV vaccine are headaches and bruising, swelling, or pain at the injection site. These side effects resolve within a few days.
Common side effects are bruising and itching at the injection site, a high temperature, nausea, and pain in the arms, hangs, fingers, legs, and feet or toes.
Rare side effects are hives and difficulty breathing.
Very rarely, some people can experience an allergic reaction to the HPV vaccine which begins suddenly after the vaccination has happened. Please call 999.
Do I still need to go for regular screening if I have the HPV vaccine?
Yes. The vaccine is not a replacement for regular cervical and anal cancer screening. Screening is an important measure of spotting any changes to cells that are being made as a result of a HPV infection, and allows for these abnormal cells to be removed before they progress into cancer.
You should also be screened for HPV if you are of high risk (such women over 25 years of age, and trans men who still have a cervix).
Sexual Health Consultation (for first dose only) £75
HPV Vaccine (per dose) £200
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Page reviewed by Dr. Manoj Malu (Clinical Director)
Written by Shannon Abraham
Last reviewed date: 1 September 2022
Next review due: 1 September 2025
Whilst this content is written and reviewed by sexual health specialists, it is for general guidance only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your clinician.
References & Further Reading
- NHS: Who should have the HPV vaccine?
- NHS: HPV vaccine overview
- University of Oxford: Vaccine Knowledge Project: HPV (Human Papillomavirus)
- Public Health England: Ten years on since the start of the HPV vaccine programme – what impact is it having?
- NHS Inform: HPV vaccine – Immunisations in Scotland
- National Cancer Institute: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines
- Cancer Research UK: The HPV vaccine