HPV vaccine for teenagers

Author: Cancer Council Victoria

I thought, you know, why not raise awareness; why not help …? It's important because it's something that can affect both girls and boys. I told my best friend to do it. She was like ‘Is Vinny doing it, is Finn doing it?’ I told Villy to get it. I told Ruby, Flora… It’s important to get the vaccine so you live a long happy life. I really wanted to know what the vaccine protected me against. The HPV vaccine protects against some cancers which affect both men and women. It's four strains of HPV. HPV causes most genital cancers in men.

And the vaccine can protect against most of these. It protects you against 70% of cervical cancers. Ninety per cent of genital warts.

I don't exactly know what it stands for. Papa ... I can't pronounce it sorry.

Human papillomas virus? Human papa-pla-pla ... What does HPV stand for? Human Papilloma Virus. Well, I'd like to get more information about it. If someone asked me what HPV is, I would tell them... HPV is a common, sexually transmitted infection.

HPV vaccine for teenagers

It affects both men and women. It usually has no effects and leaves the body naturally. Some high-risk types of HPV can cause serious illnesses like cancer. Do you know why it's important for us to get the vaccine at our age? Because that's mostly before you're like sexually active. It's because we produce more antibodies at our age. We have a better immune response to the vaccine.

It’s really important for guys my age to get it. It's not free forever so you may as well get it when it's in the school program. Conditions apply (speak to your school nurse) If you miss out then each dosage is $150. Yeah, it’s pretty expensive. I can probably think of a lot of things I would want to spend that money on, like shopping, clothes, movie tickets! So get it while you can.

Should I speak to my parents? It's really important to speak to your parents about it. Just so, first of all so you can get your permission slip signed so you can get it at school for free. They can definitely tell you about it, or even if they're not that sure, they can find out more about it. You only need three doses.

One. Two. Three! 3 doses are required You need three over six months to be most effective. If you happen to miss an injection, it's no problem. You can just get a catch up appointment with your GP. We have to go and get it done! I will soon... Everyone wants to know if it hurt. I think the worst bit is waiting before you get it, not when you actually get it.

You'll think, oh my God, is it going to really, really hurt?' No. Didn’t even hurt. And plus you get lolly-pops afterwards so it makes up. There's a few bits of advice I would give on the day.

Wear short sleeves. Don’t forget to have breakfast. And ask questions whenever you want to. Sixty-five million doses have been given safely worldwide. In over a hundred countries. I think it's pretty safe. Early results look good... There's some pretty amazing figures on the success of the vaccine.

It's halved the incidences of abnormal cells in girls under 18. And reduced the cases of genital warts by 90%. It's a pretty effective vaccine. Who would have thought that just three needles would have that much impact on the whole cancer? It helps secure your future. Do you still need to have regular Pap tests when you're older? You still need pap tests when you're older You do because it doesn't, like, protect you 100%.

There's still a chance that you can still get it. My mum got diagnosed with a certain type of cancer... Just having the experience of someone having a type of cancer just makes you more aware... If you can solve another kind of cancer by just having three needles than it's really worth it, to not have to go through what me and my family went through. Getting the HPV vaccine will reduce your risk of getting some cancers in the future.

I want to protect my future so I can still do the things that I always wanted to do. I love music. I love drama and I love my family. Things like sport I actually love. Nature. Animals. I like a lot of things. I don't want to get cancer.

So I'm going to get the vaccine because it could save a life one day. Do it. It is so worth it.

You've got so much to live for. I did it. I did it so can you. It's no big deal.

Do it! We did it, so can you! If you need more information, just visit the website.

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