Vaccinations for HPV

In the 1980s, pharmaceutical companies began working to create a vaccine for HPV and this was eventually completed with assistance from Georgetown University, University of Rochester, and the National Institutes of Health.

Almost all cervical cancer is associated with HPV, 50% of oral cancer, 65% of vaginal cancer, 35% of penile cancer, 95% of anal cancer and about 60% of oral pharyngeal cancer which is the cancer responsible for the tongue and the tonsils. HPV is also responsible for disfiguring warts in those area as well. There is no way to find out who will go on to develop cancer or other problems such as warts after getting infection with hpv.

How the HPV Vaccine Works

Like many viruses, HPV’s shell is primarily made up of protein and has a specific structure. By knowing the structure of this protein, scientists were able to reconstruct a virus-like particle in the lab. Each HPV type has its own shape so multiple virus-like shell particles were produced to cover the different types of HPV. Injecting this virus-like protein into the body then triggers the immune system, teaching it how to fight against the real virus should exposure occur.

The Two Vaccines Available for HPV


Gardasil is manufactured by Merck & Co. and was introduced in 2006. This vaccine protects against four types of HPV: 6, 11, 16, and 18. HPV 6 and 11 are responsible for the majority of genital warts and HPV 16 and 18 are responsible for cervical cancer. In other words, type 6 and 11 are low-risk and 16 and 18 are high-risk HPVs. The main components of this vaccine are purified inactive proteins from the aforementioned HPV viruses. The vaccine does not cause infection, but instead boosts the body’s immunity so it is able to fight the virus. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots: one shot on day 0, one shot 2 months later, and one shot 6 months after the first. This vaccine is available for both men and women.

Cervarix is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and received FDA approval in 2009. It protects against HPV 16 and 18 only. Many physicians and practices that treat STDs prefers to administer Gardasil to their patients since they treat genital warts and Cervarix does not protect against these. Cervarix is an approved vaccine for prevention of cervical cancer, though, and discussion with a physician can determine which vaccine is best suited for each situation. The vaccine is given as a series of three shots: one shot on day 0, one shot 1 month later, and one shot 6 months after the first. This vaccine is indicated for women only.



quadrivalent hpv vaccine will be given in three dosages 0, 2 months and 6 months, the amount of antibody declined by 24 months but afterward  it remains steady. in a follow up study the gardasil vaccine has demonstrated memory  to at least 5 years it is interesting to know that after immunization with hpv vaccine established by memory B cell so if you get an encounter with hpv in the future a strong immune response cause high volume of antibody productions against new infection after vaccination. As HPV vaccine is relatively new then we need more years to come to evaluate the duration of the immunity.



























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