The HPV vaccine protects us from cervical cancer

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The HPV vaccine protects us from cervical cancer
The
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Information
d
for Parents an
Guardians.
vaccine
protect now
for the future
vaccine
cine protects girls
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vac
are adults. This leaflet
against cervical cancer when they
questions about the
is designed to answer some common
in the enclosed
vaccine. Please read it and then fill
consent form.
What is cervical cancer?
It is cancer of a woman’s cervix,
the entrance to the womb. Each
year in Ireland, about 300 women
get cervical cancer, and 100 women
die from it. Cervical cancer is caused
by HPV.
What is HPV?
HPV stands for human
papillomavirus, which is a group
of over 100 viruses. Most people
will get a HPV infection during
their lifetime, from sexual activity.
Most of these infections do not
need treatment, but they can cause
genital warts. In some women,
however, HPV causes changes in
the cervix that can develop into
cervical cancer.
What vaccine is available
to protect against HPV?
A HPV vaccine is now being offered
to young girls in Ireland. This vaccine
is called Gardasil and protects
against the types of HPV that cause
7 out of 10 cervical cancers. It also
protects against genital warts.
How does the HPV vaccine
work?
The vaccine works in the same way
as other common vaccines. It is
given as an injection in the upper
arm. The body reacts by making
antibodies that will help the immune
system fight HPV infection. The
vaccine cannot cause HPV infection
or cancer.
Who is being o
ffered the
vaccine?
All girls in 1st ye
ar in second leve
l
schools will be
offered the HPV
vaccine every ye
ar.
Most girls will be
vaccinated at
school by HSE
immunisation te
ams.
Some will be in
vited to attend
a HSE
clinic to get the
vaccine.
Why is this ag
e group being
vaccinated?
We are offering
the vaccine to th
is
age group so th
at girls are prot
ected
before adulthoo
d and likely
exposure to HPV
.
How many do
ses are needed
?
Two doses of th
e vaccine are ne
eded
to give full prot
ection. The two
doses are given
over 6 to 12 m
onths.
We expect the
vaccine to prov
ide
long-lasting prot
ection, but we
will
let you know if
a booster is need
ed
in the future.
Who should n
ot receive HPV
vaccine?
Girls should no
t receive the va
ccine
if they:
• have had a ve
ry severe reactio
n
(anaphylaxis) to
a previous HPV
vaccine (Garda
sil) or any of its
ingredients: or
• are pregnant
Please let us kn
ow if your daug
hter
has an illness or
condition that
increases her ris
k of bleeding.
If a girl has a hi
gh fever, the
vaccination will
be postponed.
Has the vaccin
e schedule
changed?
Yes. Until recent
ly all girls needed
three doses of
the vaccine to gi
ve
full protection.
We now know
th
at
two doses give
as much protec
tio
n
as three doses
to young girls.
Girls aged 15 an
d older still need
three doses as
they do not resp
ond
as well to two do
ses.
We are offering the
vaccine to this age
group so that they
are protected before
adulthood and likely
exposure to HPV.
This vaccine has
been shown to be
very safe, with
110 million doses
already distributed
worldwide.
You can read more about
the
vaccine and its ingredients
on
our website www.immunisa
tio
n.ie
Does the vaccine have an
y side
effects?
There may be some mild
side
effects, including:
Can HPV vaccine be giv
en
at the same time as othe
r
vaccines?
• a mild fever.
The HPV vaccine can be
given at the
same time as other vaccin
es such
as Tdap (tetanus, diphtheri
a and
whooping cough/pertuss
is vaccine)
and MenC (meningococca
l vaccine).
If you give consent for the
se
vaccines the girl will receiv
e one
vaccine in each arm at eac
h visit.
These can be treated wit
h
paracetamol or ibuprofen
.
What happens if a girl mi
sses a
dose of the vaccine?
•p
ain, redness or swelling
in the
arm where the vaccine wa
s given
•h
eadache
•d
izziness
•n
ausea
and/or
Rarer side effects include
an
itchy rash or hives. Like mo
st
vaccines, severe allergic rea
ctions
are extremely rare. As usu
al, seek
medical advice if you are
concerned.
Before the next dose of you
r vaccine
you should tell the vaccin
ation team
if there has been a seriou
s reaction
to a previous dose of vac
cine or if
there has been any chang
e to your
daughter’s medical histor
y.
She can still get the vaccin
e. The
HSE will arrange for her to
be
immunised at a HSE clinic.
protect
Does HPV vaccine
against HIV?
not
HPV vaccine does
(human
protect against HIV
virus) infection,
immunodeficiency
mitted infections
other sexually trans
or pregnancy.
What should I do
next?
e enclosed
Please complete th
turn it to your
consent form and re
If you are giving
daughter’s school.
o doses of
consent, it is for tw
HPV vaccine.
draw your
If you wish to with
nd vaccine,
consent for the seco
the vaccination
you should write to
team.
of
Will I get a record
vaccinations?
HPV
immunisation
Girls will receive an
ils of their
passport with deta
.
HPV vaccinations
7 out of 10
cervical cancers
can be prevented
with HPV vaccine.
a girl’s
What happens to
in the HSE?
vaccination record
e information
The HSE will use th
your daughter’s
you provide to link
with her other
HPV vaccine details
rds. We will know
immunisation reco
s had and can
what vaccines she ha
oster is needed.
call her back if a bo
r details with
We will also share he
e National
CervicalCheck – Th
Programme so
Cervical Screening
ked to her future
that they can be lin
ening record.
cervical cancer scre
ta absolutely
We will keep this da
confidential.
otected
How can girls be pr
ncer as
from all cervical ca
adults?
ts against 7
The vaccine protec
ncers, so it is
out of 10 cervical ca
girls to have
still important for
s when they
regular smear test
why we will
are adults. This is
n details with
share her vaccinatio
e National
CervicalCheck – Th
Programme.
Cervical Screening
about free
You can read more
ening for adults
cervical cancer scre
k.ie
on www.cervicalchec
vaccine
You can read more about
HPV, the HPV vaccine and
cervical cancer on www.immunisation.ie
The HPV vaccine leaflet is available
on www.immunisation.ie in:
•
•
•
•
Arabic
French
Simplified Chinese
Polish
•
•
•
•
German
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Produced by the HSE National Immunisation Office,
Date of publication: September 2014
I’m protected now for the future

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