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Vaccination against cervical cancer

The cervical cancer vaccine - Garadasil 9 ®

A vaccine against viruses that can cause cervical cancer has been available in Austria since 2006.

The so-called human papilloma viruses (HPV) are transmitted not only through sexual intercourse but also by mere body contact and lead to changes in the cervix or warts (condylomas) in the genital area. In general, the virus is eliminated or causes no symptoms. However, in a significant number of cases, an infection with the virus can lead to (minor) changes in the cervix as well as external genital damage (including genital warts). In some cases these may develop into high-level changes, or so-called precancerous conditions, which in the worst case can lead to cervical cancer. There are several types of these viruses that can cause various diseases. Gardasil 9 ® has been developed to prevent diseases caused by the HPV types 16,18,31,33,45,52 and 58 responsible for all malignant cervical diseases as well as types 6 and 11 which cause 90% of all genital warts.

In Austria, the vaccine is recommended for girls aged 9 to 15 and women aged 16 to 26. Even if an infection with HPV has already occurred once, the vaccine boosts the body’s own antibodies and prevents a new infection with high probability.

The protection period, as with all new vaccines, can’t be measured exactly yet. At present, there is data that shows a protection period of 10 years. Despite the large numbers of previously vaccinated individuals, almost no side effects are known. At most, slight reactions at the location of injection have been observed. The vaccines are thus highly compatible. The vaccine is administered in three partial vaccinations. The second and third partial vaccination should be administered two and six months after the first. The cost of one vaccine is 170€.

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