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The sooner, the better, protect yourself against HPV

For a long time, the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination has been a massive focus for Public Health as part of the school-based vaccination programme and, unfortunately, due to COVID-19 in 2020 & 2021, about 30,000 kids between 9-11 years old missed their course of the HPV vaccine.

We are calling out every teen and young adult from 9 to 26 years old to visit one of our clinics and get immunised against HPV. This is an important step in maintaining the declining rates of HPV-related illnesses in New Zealand and a safe measure to avoid some life-threatening diseases.

Some key facts to remember:

  • HPV is the cause of several types of cancer, including cervical, vaginal and vulval, anal and penile cancer, affecting both females and males
  • HPV was present in more than 80% of women with histologically confirmed CIN2/3 (Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia) and invasive cervical cancer
  • Between 2008 - 2019 in NZ, there has been a 79.5% reduction in reported cases of Genital Warts since the introduction of the HPV Vaccination Programme
    -       Gardasil 9 gives better protection against HPV before someone is sexually active.
    -       Funded for females and males between 9-26years (inclusive)
    -       2 doses, at 0 and 6–12 months, for children aged 14 years and under.
    -       3 doses, at 0, 2 and 6 months, for individuals


Is it a new vaccine?

The HPV vaccine has been available in New Zealand for over 10 years, and over 300,000 New Zealanders have now received it. More than 270 million doses of the HPV vaccine have been given worldwide.

Does the HPV vaccine have any side effects?

The most common are pain, redness, swelling, itching and bruising at and around the injection-site as well as headaches, fever, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. For the most part these reactions are mild and usually improve or disappear within a few days. If you are worried about any side effects, contact your doctor.

Do condoms stop HPV?

Why do I need to get the HPV vaccine as soon as I can? HPV is found in certain areas of the skin that aren’t always protected by condoms – you can still catch the virus even if you are careful.

If I’ve already had sex, can I still benefit from the vaccine?

If you have already been involved in sexual activity, you may have already come into contact with HPV. However, you may also benefit from being vaccinated, since you may not have been exposed to all of the nine HPV types that are covered by the vaccine.

Why do I need to get the HPV vaccine as soon as I can?

To ensure you are protected long before you make contact with the virus, allowing you to receive the maximum health benefit.