• Question: Hi Julia, I have quite a few friends out here who have decided against having the cervarix injection due to the suposed risks invloved. Do you think that it is an injection worth having?

    Asked by cspooner to Julia on 16 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 16 Jun 2011:

      Hey cspooner…good Q!
      Simply yes I would get it.. but at the end of a day it its an individual decision, and its up to the individual to weigh up the pro’s and cons. Just as scientists we have to be thorough with our research at take a look at both sides..

      So cervarix, is a vaccine for the HPV (human papilloma virus), which is strongly associated with causing cervical cancer, Dont get confused though as this vaccine is not a cure for cervical cancer, it meerly treats one of the main causes!

      So what is HPV?? It is a sexually transmitted infection, therefore the vaccine is recommended to girls aged 9-25, before they become sexually active. Worldwide, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in adults. e.g. more than 80% of American women will have contracted at least one strain of HPV by age fifty.
      So there are many types of HPV then?? yes many strains up to 80!!.. Cervarix only treats too..HPV-16 and HPV-18 (these two cause ~70% of cervical cancers) another drug on the market Gardasil also vaccinates agaisnt HPv 6 & 11, these strains cause genital warts.. (nice huh!!).

      What are the risks and cons..??
      -Cervarix doesn;t prevent against all strains (but it covers the biggies as above!)
      -If you have the virus it may not result in cervical cancer (is it a risk worth taking?)
      -The most common local adverse reactions and general adverse events in ≥20% of patients were pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and joint pain. (this is common with any anti viral vaccination!).

      Why shoulg you get it: Is it worth the risk? In my opinion pros out weight the cons. But as I said before down to the individual.

      If you want to read more in detail I found this site really good… its a not worth me copy and pasting everything 😛

      I hope I’ve clarified some things for you… What do you think?