If you are considering getting the Gardasil vaccine, you may have some questions about the shot itself and the vaccination process. Here’s a look at what you need to know before getting the Gardasil vaccine.
Who Needs The Gardasil Vaccine?
vaccine that is recommended around the ages of 11 to 12, although it may be given to children as young as 9. The aim of giving this vaccine to preteens is to provide them with protection from the types of HPV infections that could cause cancer later in life.
Gardasil is an HPVIn general, the CDC recommends that 11- and 12-year-olds be given two doses of the vaccine 6 to 12 months apart. Anyone who gets the vaccine before turning 15 will only need two doses.
The vaccination schedule is slightly different for those who are older. Teens and adults who start the series of vaccinations after the age of 15 will need three doses.
For those older than 26, the decision about whether to get the Gardasil vaccine should be made on a case-by-case basis. Those between the ages of 27 and 45 should discuss their risk of a new HPV infection with their doctor, along with the potential benefits of getting the vaccine. Generally speaking, the vaccine offers less of a benefit to people in this age range because many will have already been exposed to the virus.
Who Should Avoid Gardasil?
Besides those outside of the appropriate age group, people with allergies should proceed with caution. Be sure to discuss any severe allergies that you have with your physician before getting the vaccine. In particular, anyone who has experienced a life-threatening allergic reaction in the past to any of the ingredients in the HPV vaccine or a previous dose of it should not get the vaccine, nor should those who have an allergy to yeast or are currently pregnant.
However, it is safe to get the vaccine when you are mildly ill, such as if you currently have a cough, runny nose, cold, or low-grade fever. If you are experiencing a moderate or severe illness, however, it is best to wait until you are feeling better to get the vaccine.
What Are The Side Effects?
Many people will not experience any side effects from the HPV vaccine, while others report mild side effects, such as a sore arm at the injection site. This may also be accompanied by redness or swelling.
Some of the other common side effects include dizziness, headache, tiredness, muscle or joint pain, nausea, or fever. Some people may faint after getting the vaccine, particularly those who are younger. Adolescents will generally be asked to remain seated or to lie down for 15 minutes after getting the vaccine to prevent fainting and injuries associated with fainting.
In rare cases, a person may experience a severe anaphylactic allergic reaction after vaccination if they are allergic to any component of the vaccine.
However, it is important to keep in mind that both Gardasil and Gardasil 9 have undergone strict safety testing before getting approved, with more than 15 years of research and monitoring demonstrating the vaccine’s overall safety.
Can Gardasil Impact Fertility?
Gardasil has not been linked to fertility problems, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention notes that not getting an HPV vaccine can leave people at risk for the types of cancer that could compromise fertility. For example, people who develop cancer that is caused by HPV may need treatment such as chemotherapy, radiation, or a hysterectomy, all of which could limit their ability to have children.
How Long Does Protection Last?
It is believed that the protection afforded by Gardasil and similar vaccines is long-lasting. In research studies, people given HPV vaccines were monitored for about 12 years and their protection remained high with no signs that protection may be waning.
Where Can I Get the Vaccine?
Your gynecologist can administer the HPV vaccine to you. Other doctors’ offices may also offer the vaccination, along with school health centers, local health departments, and community health clinics. Many health insurance plans cover routine vaccinations such as Gardasil, while the Vaccines For Children program provides vaccines to those aged 18 and younger who are underinsured, uninsured, Medicaid-eligible, Alaskan native, or American Indian.
Get In Touch With The North Carolina Women’s Healthcare Specialists
If you would like to learn more about the protection offered by the Gardasil vaccine or find out more about how it could benefit you, make an appointment with the North Carolina women’s healthcare specialists at Raleigh Gynecology and Wellness today.