HPV Vaccination

Protecting against HPV infection to help reduce the risk of cancer.

March 2023 Healthier Times Newsletter

HPV Vaccination

The HPV vaccine helps protect you from being infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

This virus increases the risk of developing some cancers later in life, such as:

  • cervical cancer
  • some mouth and throat cancers
  • some cancers of the anus and genital areas

The HPV vaccine does not protect against other sexually transmitted infections.

HPV infection is very common. More than 70% of unvaccinated people will get it at some point in their lives.

HPV lives on the skin in and around the whole genital area, so using condoms does not provide complete protection from HPV. 

Most HPV infections do not cause any symptoms and get better on their own, however some do not clear up and can lead to cancer whilst others cause genital warts.

The HPV vaccine has been offered to all girls in school year 8 since September 2008. From September 2019 the vaccine has also been offered to year 8 boys. This is because the evidence is clear that the HPV vaccine helps protect both boys and girls from HPV-related cancers.

The vaccine is given in your arm and you need 2 doses to be fully protected. The first injection is given in year 8 and the second one usually 6 to 12 months later. You will be informed when you are due the second dose.

For more information visit www.nhs.uk/hpv.