Science has come a long way and one of the best things about it, is that it has given us the ability to prevent and eradicate a wide range of diseases through vaccines. One such vaccine, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer – the 10th most common cancer diagnosed in women in Singapore.
HPV is a group of viruses made up of 100 different strains and can infect both males and females throughout their lifetime. HPV infection is spread through skin-to-skin contact such as sexual contact. Most of the time, our immune system can kill and eradicate an HPV infection, however, sometimes an HPV infection can linger and lead to abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, leading to cervical cancer.
HPV strains can be categorised into high-risk strains (more likely to cause cancer) and low-risk strains (less likely to cause cancer). High-risk HPV strains have been associated with various types of cancers such as cervical cancer, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women, and anal and penile cancer in men. Other HPV strains may result in genital warts or no symptoms at all.
The HPV vaccine helps to protect against the high-risk cancer-causing HPV strains.
|Protection against HPV types||16, 18||6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58|
|Approved indications||Prevention of cervical cancer and premalignant cervical lesions caused by HPV types 16 and 18.||Prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancer caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. Prevention of dysplastic premalignant cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal lesions caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. Prevention of genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11.|
|Approved age of use||Females aged 9 to 25 years old, or as advised by doctor.||Females aged 9 to 26 years old, or as advised by doctor.|
|Vaccination schedule||Females aged 9 to 14 years old: 2 doses, 5 to 13 months apart. Females aged 15 to 25 years old: 3 doses, 2nd dose 1 to 2.5 months after first dose, 3rd dose 5 to 12 months after first dose.||Females aged 9 to 14 years old: 2 doses, 6 to 12 months apart. Females aged 15 to 26 years old: 3 doses at 0, 2, and 6 months.|
|Effectiveness||Protects against HPV types 16 and 18 which accounts for 70% of all cervical cancers. Suitable for females.||Provides additional 20% protection against both high-risk and low-risk cancer causing HPV strains. Suitable for both males and females.|
The HPV vaccine is not compulsory but is recommended for the following individuals:
As with all vaccines, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as:
National Registry of Diseases Office. (2022). Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Report 2019. Singapore: Health Promotion Board.
3 Mount Elizabeth
#16-02 Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
This website contains general information and should not be used as an alternative for professional or specialist medical advice. If you suspect that you may have any medical problem or condition, please seek immediate medical attention from a MOH registered healthcare provider. All reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is accurate, relevant, and comprehensive to the best of our knowledge. However, there is no guarantee that all information on this website is complete or up-to-date. drclaudiachi.com is independently owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any organisation.