Do you know what the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is? The HPV vaccine is a vaccine to prevent diseases caused by HPV such as cervical cancer, penile cancer, anal cancer, throat cancer, and genital warts. Currently, the provision of the HPV vaccine in Indonesia is recommended for adolescent girls from the age of 10 years and over, while in foreign countries HPV vaccination is also recommended for adolescent boys.
Many people think that HPV vaccination in children does not need to be given because at that age sexual intercourse has not been carried out. However, the actual HPV vaccine should be given before a person has had sex. It will be too late if the new HPV vaccine is given when someone has had sexual intercourse, because that person may already be infected with HPV.
One of the diseases caused by HPV is cervical cancer, which is cancer that grows in cells in the cervix. This cancer generally develops slowly and only shows symptoms when it has entered an advanced stage. In Indonesia, cervical cancer ranks second after breast cancer as the most common type of cancer of all cancer cases in 2020.
Who needs to get the HPV vaccination? The HPV vaccine should ideally be given to teenagers or young adults who have never had the HPV vaccine before and are not sexually active.
How about the dosage? The HPV vaccine dose for children under 15 years of age is given twice, with the second dose 6-12 months after the first dose. Meanwhile, adolescents and young adults aged 15–26 years are given 3 injections of the HPV vaccine over a 6-month period.
The side effects of the HPV vaccine are still in the safe category. Some of the side effects of this cervical cancer vaccine are:
It is important to get an HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer and genital warts, which are several types of medical conditions caused by infection with the HPV. The Government of Indonesia through the Minister of Health provides certainty that the HPV vaccine will begin to be given free of charge as a preventive measure from the Government in meeting the basic needs of public health.
As the first stage of administering this cervical cancer vaccine, it will be given in two doses to girls 9-13 years old who are in elementary school education in grades 5 and 6. The reason why it is given to young children is that the vaccine will work more effectively when the child has not reached the age for menstruating and has not had sexual contact or intercourse.
Have you and your little one got the HPV vaccine?