When your child is aged 11-12 they’ll be offered a HPV vaccine at school. Here’s why it’s important to make sure they get the vaccine.
What is the HPV vaccine?
The HPV is one of four sets of immunisations your child is offered for free in secondary school. You can find out more about the other immunisations here. It helps protects against HPV-related cancers, like cervical cancer, head and neck cancer and genital cancers. It also protects against genital warts.
What is HPV?
HPV is a common virus which usually produces no symptoms. This means that people may not even know they're carrying the virus.
In most people HPV clears up quickly. But carrying HPV makes you more likely to develop certain types of cancer. It also means you can pass HPV on to others.
This video explains more about what HPV is and how the vaccine protects against HPV-related cancers.
Do boys need to get the HPV vaccine?
Yes! We often associate the HPV vaccine with preventing cervical cancer, but it also protects from head and neck cancer and cancers of the penis and anus, so it’s just important that boys get the vaccine too.
What do I need to do to make sure my child gets the HPV vaccine?
Young people are offered the HPV vaccine when they’re in S1. They’ll be given a booklet about the vaccine and a consent form that they and you will need to sign – it’s a good idea to talk this through with them.
If they miss their appointment they’ll be able to get their vaccines at a later date. If your child is home schooled, you can contact your local vaccine service to make them an appointment.
The NHS Inform website has more information about the HPV vaccine and why it’s so important. It also has contact details for your local vaccine service if you have any questions.