The HPV shot protects against a range of cancers including cervical, head and neck and genital.
Without vaccination, experts think the toll for precancerous changes would have hit nearly 36,000 women.
As part of metro.co.ukIn the You, Me & HPV series, we look at who qualifies for this vaccination for free – plus how much will it cost for those who have to pay?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Who Is Eligible For The Free HPV Vaccine?
There are two free HPV vaccination programs in England.
One is for children ages 12 to 13 and one for men who have sex with men (MSM) up to age 45.
It is first offered to girls and boys aged 12 and 13 (those born after September 1, 2006) at school, ie when students are in 8th grade, in two doses.
If either dose is missed at school, contact your school immunization team or primary care doctor and make an appointment to receive the missed dose as soon as possible.
If you forgot the HPV vaccine when you were 12 or 13, you can get it free on the NHS until you turn 25 – for girls born after September 1, 1991 and boys born after September 1, 2006.
To make an appointment, please contact your GP practice.
People who received the first dose of the HPV vaccine at age 15 or older should receive three doses of the vaccine.
This is because they do not respond as well to two doses as younger people.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) have not benefited from the first program in the same way as it used to be given only to girls, so many have been left unprotected against HPV.
Since April 2018, MSM up to and including 45 years of age are eligible for free HPV vaccination on the NHS when visiting sexual health clinics and HIV clinics in England.
Some transgender people are also eligible for the HPV vaccine.
You, me and HPV
Read more from metro.co.uk‘s You, Me & HPV Series here.
Trans women (people assigned as males at birth) are eligible for the HPV vaccine if their risk of contracting HPV is similar to the risk of MSM eligible for the HPV vaccine.
Trans men (people assigned to a woman at birth) are eligible if they have sex with other men and are 45 years of age or younger.
How much does the HPV vaccine cost for everyone else?
For people who are not eligible for the free shot, you must pay if you want to receive it.
The price can vary from company to company, but the average is around £170 per dose. Keep in mind that you need to have three doses, so the full course can cost over £510.
super drug currently charges £165 for single doses. If you book the full course in advance it costs £329 for two doses, £469 for three.
Mild side effects you may experience after getting the shots include dizziness, nausea, headache, and fever.
You, me & HPV
This week, metro.co.uk looks at HPV and its related cancers from different perspectives.
In general, HPV is not something to worry about, but it is something to be aware of.
HPV is something that eight out of ten of us will experience at some stage in our lives. It is spread through skin-to-skin contact, not just penetrative sex. There is even evidence that it can spread through deep kissing.
It hasn’t been tested in a standard sexual health screening, so it’s nearly impossible to know when or where a person contracted it or who they passed it on.
For most people, their bodies will fight off the virus in about one to two years with no lasting effects. In front of some however, humans can make them more vulnerable to cancers of the cervix, anus, head and neck, penis, vagina, and vulva.
This week we’ll explore the human problems associated with HPV and its related cancers.
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