Another way to curb the development of HPV infection which is the most important risk factor for Cervical Cancer is to encourage early Vaccination. Vaccines have been developed that can protect women from HPV infections. So far, vaccines that protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 are available.
They are prophylactic vaccines, meaning that it is designed to prevent the initial establishment of HPV infections. For maximum efficacy it is recommended that girls receive the vaccine prior to becoming sexually active. HPV vaccines might not block infection with all of the HPV types that causes cervical cancer; the vaccine should not be considered a substitute for routine screening.
The vaccine is administered in three injections over six months. The second injection is two months after the first, and the third injection is four months after the second shot is administered (schedule:0,2,6 months). All three doses should be given within a year period.
Sali Hoe Cervical Cancer Screening and Vaccination Center intend to give the vaccine routinely to 50, 000 young girls in Nigeria. It includes:
1. The vaccine should be be administered routinely to females aged 15 – 18 (primary target/reproductive age). The vaccine is prophylaxis; it will not treat an existing HPV infection.
2. The vaccine may not provide protection against all HPV types. It will only provide protection against HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. It will not protect against any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This means that after taking the vaccine, one should abstain or still practice safe sex with the of use condoms to prevent STDs
3. The vaccine will not treat any cancerous changes that might have been caused by any already existing HPV infection. It is important to keep having regular screening.
4. Women who have an underactive immune system due to genetic defect, diseases as HIV infection or treatments with immunosuppressant medicines such as chemotherapy, high-dose corticosteroids or immunosuppressant used after an organ transplant, may not produce an adequate number of antibodies in response to this vaccine. The vaccines may be less effective in these women.
5. HPV vaccine should not be administered during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, inform your doctor if you are pregnant or nursing mother or planning a pregnancy.
6. As the safety of the vaccine during pregnancy has not been fully established, Sali Hoe Foundation don’t intend to give pregnant women. It should be postponed until the pregnancy is over.
We hope and pray for an improve vaccine with no side effects. In Sali Hoe Cervical Cancer Screening and Vaccination Center, We intend to use newer and better vaccines if necessary.