ABOUT HPV VACCINATONS
HPV vaccination is included in the general child vaccination programme and provides very good protection against cervical cancer. This brochure explains the virus, the vaccine and why we recommend that children have the vaccination. Start by watching the film above.
A VACCINE FOR CERVICAL CANCER
Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV, is a very common virus that most people have at some time in their lives. There are over 200 different strains of HPV, some of which can give infections that lead to cell changes. These changes can result in cervical cancer in adulthood. HPV vaccination provides a very good protection against this form of cancer if it is given at an early age. For this reason it is now included in the general child vaccination programme for girls and other children with a cervix, such as transgender and non-binary people.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BODY?
The vaccine contains a harmless copy of HPV which strengthens the body’s immune response to the virus. This means that if the person has HPV in the future, the body recognizes and fights the virus. Vaccination provides very good protection against the HPV strains that cause more than 90% of all cases of cervical cancer.
DOES IT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
There may be a slight redness and swelling on the upper arm after the vaccination where the injection was given. It may feel sore for a while, but it usually disappears within one or two days. Some may get a headache and a few may have a slight fever, but the vast majority of young people have no reaction at all. The efficacy and safety of HPV vaccine are very well proven: over 80 million people have been vaccinated and so far no increased risk of serious illness has been indicated among those vaccinated.
WHEN IS THE VACCINATION GIVEN?
All children offered HPV vaccination get it free of charge when they are in the fifth or sixth class - it is included in the pupil health medical programme. If your child was not vaccinated in the fifth or sixth class, you can contact the school nurse and have the vaccination free of charge up to the age of 18. Some municipalities offer the HPV vaccination free of charge until the end of upper secondary school. It is possible to have the vaccination under the high-cost protection scheme between the age of 18 and 26. All other individuals have to pay for the HPV vaccination themselves. Please contact your local health centre or vaccination clinic for more information. You can find your nearest health centre using “Hitta och jämför vård” (Find and compare healthcare).
HOW IS THE VACCINATION DONE?
The vaccine is injected into the upper arm by the school nurse on two occasions, with a few months between them. If your child is over fifteen, the vaccine is given on three occasions.
8 OF 10 CHOSE TO TAKE THE HPV VACCINATION
Together we can provide children with good protection against cervical cancer later on in life. The vaccination protects themselves and others from getting and spreading HPV.
CHILDREN HAVE THE RIGHT OVER THEIR BODIES
All children have the right over their own bodies, but for them to have an HPV vaccination you, the guardian, need to give your consent. This brochure may be a good help when you talk to your child about HPV vaccination. If there is anything you are not sure about, you can talk to the school nurse.
HPV VACCINATIONS AND BIOPSY
An HPV vaccination cannot provide 100% protection against all types of HPV viruses, but children vaccinated against HPV at an early age who have regular swab checks after the age of 23 have very good protection against cervical cancer!