The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination can help prevent specific types of HPV infection that may lead to cervical cancer. Here’s what you need to know about the vaccination in Singapore.
The Types of HPV Vaccines in Singapore
The vaccines approved for use in Singapore are Gardasil and Cervarix.
Who are the Vaccines for?
The HPV vaccines are approved for use in females aged 9 to 26 years old. It is most effective if given before first sexual exposure. However, women who are sexually active may still benefit from the vaccine as they may not be exposed to the types of HPV covered by the vaccine.
If you are above 26 years old and wish to go for HPV vaccination, it is best to speak with your doctor to find out if you are suitable for it.
You should NOT be vaccinated if:
You are sensitive to yeast or to any of the vaccine components
You are having a moderate or severe acute infectious illness (please wait until you have recovered from the illness)
You have a bleeding disorder that causes you to bruise or bleed easily OR you are on a medication that thins your blood
If you are unsure, always talk to your doctor to find out if a vaccination is suitable for you.
HPV Vaccine Dose and Side Effects
Is it compulsory?
No, the HPV vaccines are not compulsory but are recommended as prevention against cervical cancer.
What is the dose schedule like?
Depending on the type of vaccine, two doses are recommended for females who received the first dose between aged 9 and 13/14 years at an interval of at least six months between the two doses. Three doses are recommended for those who received the first dose between aged 14/15 and 26 years (at an interval of 0, 1-2 and 6 months)
Is there a need for booster shots?
There is currently no recommendation for additional doses or booster shots.
What are the common side effects of HPV vaccines?
You may experience pain, swelling, itching redness at the site of the injection and fever.
If you encounter any of these side effects, please inform your doctor.
HPV Vaccination During Pregnancy
The HPV vaccines are not recommended for pregnant females. If you discover that you are pregnant after receiving 1 or 2 doses of the vaccine, it is recommended that you postpone the remaining dose(s) till after you deliver.
If you find that you are pregnant after completing 3 doses of the vaccine, it is not necessary to terminate your pregnancy.
Pap Smear Screening After Vaccination
Yes! You should still go for a pap smear once every 3 years if you have been vaccinated. HPV vaccinations are not substitutes for routine cervical cancer screening, regular pap smears are still your best protection against cervical cancer.
Where to get HPV Vaccinated
You can receive HPV vaccination at a polyclinic or GP clinic. It is advisable to speak to your doctor to find out more about HPV vaccination.
Eligible patients can use up to $500 per Medisave account per year under the MediSave500 scheme to pay for HPV vaccination. You can also use your own Medisave or your immediate family members (e.g. parents or spouse) to help pay for the vaccination. Click here for more information on subsidies available, other vaccine-preventable diseases and frequently asked questions.
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