How is HPV vaccine given?
The HPV vaccine is a series of 3 injections given within 6 months. You should receive all 3 doses to get full protection. Current data showed that it should be protective for at least 5 years. The need for a booster injection will depend on further research findings and is not yet known. Taking a HPV test before vaccination is not recommended since there are no reliable HPV typing tests that have been validated by large clinical trials available in the market at the moment. In addition, 50% of natural infections may be tested serologically negative in the laboratory setting. There is no need to have cervical smear before HPV vaccine. You need to continue with regular cervical smears to detect any abnormal changes caused by the other high risk HPV types because the current vaccine only protects against 70% of cervical cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18.