How much does an HPV Vaccine cost? And other FAQs related to the HPV vaccine?

The Human Papilloma Virus, commonly abbreviated as HPV is the most common Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) on the face of the earth. This STI is known to develop warts on genitals such as the penis, scrotum, vagina, and anus. The body is known to fight off these warts via the strength of its immune system but in some cases, high-risk HPV can prove to be too hard for the body to deal with. Even more sadly, an individual may not know for a long time that they have contracted HPV and this delay in information can lead to the formation of cancers within the genitals that prove to be life-threatening.

This STI is prevalent in adults aged between the bracket of 18 and 59 years old, with an occurrence rate of 42.5% overall. Whereas the high-risk HPV has an occurrence of 22.7% amongst the whole population. The alarming news here is that both kinds of HPV are more likely to develop in males than in females (not much of a difference but yet, boys are more likely). For this reason, parents need to be informed regarding the HPV vaccination process and specifics to ensure that they exist while administering this vaccine to their children. Here are many answers to your questions related to the HPV vaccine – 

How much does an HPV vaccine cost?

The HPV vaccine can be given free of cost under health-focused organizations, can be covered under diverse kinds of health insurance and can also be paid for if the advised age of vaccination has passed and the government has programs to promote and provide free vaccinations. Expect to shell out around 200 to 260 dollars for a complete vaccination cycle. The Cervarix vaccine (specially made to restrict women from HPV-related genital cancers) can cost 100 dollars per dose and the Gardasil vaccine (to restrict anal HPV-related cancer) can cost up to 120 dollars per dose. As each dose must be given twice to complete a full vaccination procedure, the total sums up to 200 to 260 dollars.

What is the ideal age for taking HPV vaccination?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised that all children, irrespective of their gender and location must be administered the HPV vaccine maximum by the age of 11 or 12. This is because usually by the time children approach the tender age of 11 or 12, they begin to explore the sexual and pleasurable aspects of life. Although in their initial phases the odds of them doing anything more than lip locks and feeling of genitals is low, the possibility that they go a step ahead is not a long shot. In case you may have not vaccinated your children by 11 or 12 years of age then the next best bet is 15 years old. Anything over that age comes with a possibility of already contracting HPV.

What is the recommended dosage cycle for HPV patients?

Dosage for the HPV vaccine does vary from person to person. As the advised age by the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO) and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is 11 to 12 years for children, taking vaccination post this age bracket would require an alternative dosage amount. 11 to 12-year-old kids require to take 2 doses of HPV vaccination, separated by a time period of 6 months. The second dose ensures the final nail in the coffin of the virus if it ever arises within your system.

Whereas children who miss their early vaccination are advised to get it done maximum by the age of 15. As their body has grown in size, coordination, and capacity, they would require a stronger dosage of the vaccination to ensure it is spread throughout their system and can be activated when needed. 3 doses spaced at an interval of 6 months proves sufficient to protect their immune systems from the HPV virus.

What are the side effects of the HPV vaccine?

Although there can be side effects of taking the HPV vaccine, there are situations when side effects may not even arise. Common problems would be a mild headache, nausea, and flushing of the skin, especially on the area the injection was given. Fainting and losing balance while standing or talking is a common symptom, especially in children. For this reason, they are made to lay down for 10 minutes before and after the administration of the vaccine. Rarely, anaphylactic reactions can occur and lead to allergic reactions that cause fast heartbeats and whistling sounds while breathing. 

What are the kinds of HPV vaccine?

There are two kinds of vaccinations against HPV, one is called Cervarix and the other is known as Gardasil. Cervarix is known to fight strains of HPV that contribute to the growth of neck, head and throat cancers. Mainly, it was formulated to reduce the number of HPV-related cervical cancer cases in women all over the world. Gardasil, on the other hand, is also approved by the FDA and is administered to women and men who are worried about being victims of HPV-related anal, vulva, vagina or testicular cancer. These vaccines are the reason you may not grow to develop the most common STIs known to mankind.

What strains do the HPV vaccine target?

The most common HPV strains that lead to the growth of cervical and other cancers are known as type 16 HPV and type 18 HPV. These strains are responsible for over 70 percent of all cervical cancer cases. As far as Gardasil is concerned, it equips the body with sufficient immunity and elements to battle any infections that can arise due to type 6 HPV and type 11 HPV, both of which are highly responsible to the growth of genital warts in men and women. 

Another version of Gardasil, known as Gardasil 9, is known to battle 9 different types of HPV strains numbered in the following order – 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. These 9 HPV strains are known to be the leading cause for 90 percent of HPV-related cancers.

Will vaccination after being diagnosed with HPV help?

No, it will not. Please keep in mind that vaccination is meant to be taken at the early stages of life and not once you have grown up and entered the real world of sexual indulgence and activity. The vaccination is not supposed to fight HPV strains that already exist in the bloodstream, it is supposed to restrict an HPV virus from activating itself and spreading itself in the stream. It is for this reason that the HPV vaccine must be taken when an individual is young. It equips them with enough protein and virus-fighting elements for future safety.

Even if the high cost seems to be an issue for you, there are multiple routes and solutions to being vaccinated free of charge. Healthcare organizations, non-profit clinics and vaccine allowances for youngsters are common modes of evading the unreasonably high cost of the vaccine.