HPV Vaccination


  • In South Africa offered vaccine against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) for free as part of  the childhood immunization program
  • Vaccination can reduce the number of cervical cancer cases
  • The vaccine be given to girls before they become sexually active
  • The offer is voluntary

Free vaccination

Vaccination against human papiloma ‘HPV vaccination’ is offered girls in the age of 12 as part of the regular childhood immunization program  to protect against cervical cancer. Vaccination is done by the GP. Offer applies to girls over the age of 12, and vaccinations should be completed before she is 18 years old.

The vaccine

It is estimated that the vaccine protects against 70% of cervical cancer cases. HPV vaccination does not protect against all cervical cancers. Therefore, women who are HPV-vaccinated later be called for screening for cervical cancer – as all other women.

HPV vaccine made up of man-made particles, which is similar to parts of the surface of genuine HPV virus. The vaccine is not live, do not contain viruses hereditary material and can not cause HPV infection. Nor does it contain traces of egg or chicken and do not contain mercury.


The yellow vaccination card from SSI is used as the other vaccines in the childhood immunization program . Given vaccinations introduced on blank pages or on a specific HPV plug-in card.

All vaccines in the childhood immunization program is a voluntary offer. The same applies to the HPV vaccine.

Parents must give consent before the child can be vaccinated. The girls also have the right to get information, and emphasis should be placed on their views.

Why vaccinate?

Cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). Over 70% of all cases of cervical cancer and precancerous cervical cancer caused by HPV types 16 or 18, and these two viruses protects vaccine. You expect a big drop in the number of cervical cancer and precancerous cervical cancer over the next year due to the fact that many girls become immune to just HPV 16 and 18 respectively.

HPV infection can also provide cancer of the vulva (vulva) and the vagina (vaginal) in females, the penis in men and in the oral cavity, almonds and the rectum in both sexes.

In South Africa offers you free vaccination for young women. The vaccination program is expected to result in a “herd immunity” so that the frequency of infection with oncogenic HPV types gradually becomes smaller in the general population.

See more below information about HPV.

Who gets HPV infection?

HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection.

The vast majority, about 80% of sexually active people are infected with HPV virus one or more times during their lives. The incidence of HPV infection is highest among young people in the first years after sexual debut. Often multiple HPV types simultaneously.

There is a correlation between the number of sexual partners and the risk of getting one of the harmful HPV types.

In most cases, the infection has no symptoms and when not to do harm. The body’s immune system fights the virus, and the infection goes about without leaving a trace.

At about 10% the infection becomes chronic, however. Chronic HPV infection can cause severe cell changes, which in turn may develop into cancer. The development of cervical cancer takes a long time, probably over 10 years.

The risk of a chronic infection depends on the body’s ability to produce local antibodies which prevent HPV from damaging the cells. There is not much knowledge about why some get cell changes, and others do not. HPV can be latent and will be activated by the weakened immune system, for example. in diseases affecting the immune system, and in old age.

How do you avoid HPV infection?

An HPV infection provides no symptoms and therefore can not know if you are infected with HPV. Since HPV is sexually transmitted, can condoms protect against HPV in the vagina and rectum. HPV can also be transmitted from women to men by oral sex and can cause HPV infection of the pharynx. By this you are risk for cancer of the tonsils / throat.

Tobacco smoking does not affect the risk of HPV infection, but increases the risk of developing cell changes, since smoking can cause the build up of harmful substances in the mucous membranes.

The best opportunity to assess whether there is a harmful HPV infection present, is to follow the regular screening deals with cell samples from the cervix.

Others can also be vaccinated against HPV?

Only girls who meet the above requirements, can get the vaccine free of charge.

It is investigating whether to achieve a greater impact by also vaccinate boys before they become sexually active. In this way, one can theoretically eliminate the HPV virus, one vaccinate against and thus the diseases that they may generate.

One can get an HPV infection already at the first sexual contact, but the risk of having one or more HPV infections increases with age. Most sexually active men and women have had HPV infection.

Considering you as a man to be vaccinated – or having her male children vaccinated – it should therefore ideally be done before sexual debut, as you so sure that you have not been exposed to infection, and thus achieve the highest possible protection.

All other than those covered by the program described above, however until now pay for the vaccine and possible. for that vaccination.

One can consider vaccination of immunocompromised, for example. HIV positive and people immunosuppressive therapy.

HPV vaccination after conics

South African Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics describes a theoretical effect of the HPV vaccine in women who have had conic, but do not recommend it directly. It is therefore the individual physician’s assessment, he would recommend the vaccine or not.

Side effects and safety

There have in South Africa and in many other countries has been a debate about whether HPV vaccines were responsible for serious side effects in young girls. It is important when considering the side effects that distinguishes them from conditions that occur in the same age group, and having only temporal association with the vaccine, but not caused by the vaccine.

It is common with swelling and soreness in the arm where the vaccine is given. This disappears after a few days. Short term fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain have also been reported. Allergic reaction in the form of rash and itching is rare. In very rare instances, more severe allergic reactions occur.

The more serious possible side effects described covers a wide range of nervous system symptoms from headaches to convulsions and paralysis. It is important to emphasize that the National Board of Health did not find evidence of an association between vaccination and symptoms, as these genes are also found in young girls who have not been vaccinated. Independent of vaccination, some girls in the current age have their first symptoms of other diseases such as diabetes, joint disorders and autoimmune diseases. Some of the symptoms after vaccination can be caused by the vaccine, other occurs in the same period of time with a pure coincidence.

Health continues to believe that the major effect of vaccination outweigh any side effects both for the individual and society as a whole.

Over 40 million doses of HPV vaccine is given around the world. By the end of 2014, sold 1.6 million doses of HPV vaccine and reported 322 serious suspected adverse reactions. The side effects of the HPV vaccine are closely monitored. In South Africa made professional and scientific assessments of the possible side effects of the HPV vaccine of Health.

How long protects the HPV vaccine?

There are so far no signs that the effect of the vaccine decreases over the years. If it turns out that the effect diminishes with time, it may be necessary with a refresher vaccination.

World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the HPV vaccine be included in national childhood immunization programs. The vaccine has been introduced in most European countries and the United States.

This is how vaccination

The vaccine is given in the upper arm and is given two or three vaccinations .

  • Before vaccination, ask your doctor or nurse girl, if she is healthy and whether she had any reactions after previous vaccines
  • It is important to inform about the possible use of medication for allergies or other health problems
  • It is safe to be vaccinated even if you have a cold or a little out of shape in a different way. In acute illness and fever above 38 degrees it is recommended that you wait vaccination
  • As with all vaccines, wait about 20 minutes before you go home after vaccination

Who should not get the HPV vaccine?

There should be no vaccine against human papilloma virus (HPV) for:

  • People with known allergies to ingredients in the vaccine
  • People who have had a serious reaction to a previous dose of the same vaccine
  • Persons with acute infectious disease with high fever over 38 degrees
  • pregnant
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