Milton Keynes 0-19 Service

HPV vaccine: Beating cervical cancer

If you’re starting Year 8 this Autumn Term, you will start to hear more about the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine.

When young people reach the age of 12 to 13 and are in year 8 at school, they are offered this vaccine to protect them against cervical cancer.

You will be sent an information pack from our Immunisation Team which tells you and your parents or carer information about this and it will include a leaflet and a consent form for your parents or carer to sign.

If you have any questions about the HPV vaccine, you can ask your school nurse.

HPV vaccine – the facts:

Why do I need the HPV vaccine?

  • In the UK around 3,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year
  • It is the most common cancer among women under the age 35
  • Cervical cancer is caused by a very common virus called human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Cervical cancer develops in the cervix and is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus
  • The vaccine used is Gardasil and this protects girls against four types of HPV; Type 16 and Type 18, which give a high risk for cervical cancer, and Type 6 and Type 11, which do not cause cervical cancer, but they do cause 90% of genital warts

How will I be given the vaccine?

  • If you choose to have the vaccine you will receive two doses by injection. The two doses are given between six and 24 months apart
  • The vaccine is normally given at school

It’s important to remember that the vaccine is not a replacement for safe sex and a healthy lifestyle.

Will I have any side effects?

Most people do not have any side effects from the vaccine. If they do they are mild and won’t last very long. These might include:

  • Pain, swelling, redness/bruising or itching where you had the injection
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Dizziness.

More information

HPV vaccination question and answer leaflet

Visit NHS Choices 

Visit Jo’s cervical cancer trust website