The HPV vaccination

Certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to genital warts, as well as anal and cervical cancer. As there is no treatment available for HPV, prevention through HPV vaccine can protect against the virus. 

Certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) can lead to genital warts, as well as anal and cervical cancer. As there is no treatment available for HPV, prevention through HPV vaccine can protect against the virus. 

COVID-19 service update

During the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are working hard to ensure that our pharmacies are able to provide services, care and advice to you as safely as possible. When you visit us for a service, things might be a little different.

We are trying to ensure we manage social distancing in stores, so we may ask you to wait just a minute or two before you enter the pharmacy. When providing services, our pharmacy team will be wearing PPE. The PPE they wear will depend on the service being carried out, but colleagues will always be wearing a face mask. If you book a service that requires the consultation room, don’t worry, it will be cleaned before and after each service appointment - you may be asked for your consent to leave the door open to aid air flow but if you need extra privacy we don’t mind shutting the door. Lastly, when attending the pharmacy, please bring a face covering with you to use during the consultation.

During the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we are working hard to ensure that our pharmacies are able to provide services, care and advice to you as safely as possible. When you visit us for a service, things might be a little different.

We are trying to ensure we manage social distancing in stores, so we may ask you to wait just a minute or two before you enter the pharmacy. When providing services, our pharmacy team will be wearing PPE. The PPE they wear will depend on the service being carried out, but colleagues will always be wearing a face mask. If you book a service that requires the consultation room, don’t worry, it will be cleaned before and after each service appointment - you may be asked for your consent to leave the door open to aid air flow but if you need extra privacy we don’t mind shutting the door. Lastly, when attending the pharmacy, please bring a face covering with you to use during the consultation.

About HPV

  • What is HPV?

    HPV (human papillomavirus) refers to a common type of virus which affects your skin and moist membranes lining parts of your body such as the mouth, throat and genital area like the cervix, vagina, penis and anus. There are around 100 different types of HPV, most are harmless, but certain types can cause genital warts and potentially lead to cervical cancer. 

  • What are the chances of getting HPV?

    Lots of people are likely to come into contact with HPV in their lifetime, in fact according to Cancer Research UK as many as 8 out of 10 people will be infected at some point in their lives. However, as HPV is mostly symptomless, the majority of these people will not know they have it. Only a small percentage of people with HPV will develop genital warts. 

  • How is HPV spread?

    HPV is trasmitted during sex, or skin to skin contact with the genitals. 

  • How does the HPV vaccine work?

    The HPV vaccine is given as an injection of Gardasil 9 in the right arm. Gardasil 9 then immunises against 9 types of HPV. 

  • Is the HPV vaccine for men and women?

    The HPV can be given to both men and women. Under the current NHS vaccination programme, Gardsil is offered to boys and girls in Year 8, to girls as part of a catch up scheme up until their 26th birthday and to men aged under 45 who have sex with men

    The virus can be caught and spread by men and women. Genital warts is experienced by men and women and it is important to remember that while HPV is often associated with cervical cancer (which only affects women, or transgender men with a cervix), it can also cause cancers of the anus, penis, throat and mouth. 

  • Does the HPV vaccine only protect against cervical cancer?

    No, the HPV vaccine can also protect against anal, penile, throat and mouth cancers. It is thought that increasing rates of mouth cancers, in particular throat and tonsil, maybe due to a greater proportion of cases being linked to HPV.

    The strains 6 and 11 of the HPV virus are a common cause of genital warts, so the vaccine can also protect against this STI. 

  • What’s the age limit for getting a HPV vaccine?

    The reason few adults get the vaccine is because they are likely to have already been exposed to HPV through sex. Gardasil 9 can only protect and not treat HPV. 

    However there is no upper age limit, but getting the vaccine from age 11 is recommended. You can request vaccination through the Online Doctor if you are aged 18 and over. LloydsPharmacy stores can vaccinate those aged 12-45 only. 

  • Can overseas visitors get the HPV vaccine?

    It can be a challenge for some people outside of the UK to get the HPV vaccination, for that reason we have seen a huge influx of students, requesting the vaccine through our online service. The vast majority of these international students are Chinese, as the vaccine is relatively difficult to access in China. As the vaccine is administered in 3 doses over 6 months, the academic year gives plenty of time to fit in appointments for each dose. 

  • Are there any side effects to getting vaccinated against HPV?

    Minor side effects can occur, similar to most other vaccinations. These side effects include redness, swelling or pain at the site of the injection, which usually settles within a couple of days. Others include bruising, fever, headaches, nausea and dizziness. 

  • Where can I get Gardasil 9?

    You can request your vaccine online through LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor. Complete a short medical questionnaire, select the pharmacy that is most convenient to you and pay for your vaccine. Your suitability will then be assessed by our clinicians and you will be prescribed the vaccine, if it is appropriate, and it will be sent to your chosen pharmacy. You must then call your chosen pharmacy to arrange your appointments to receive the vaccination. 

    Please note that you may experience a delay in booking your vaccine if we are experiencing a high volume of vaccine requests. We advise calling your nominated store to see when it is likely to be less busy. 

    If you'd prefer, you can also request a face-to-face consultation from selected LloydsPharmacy stores by booking your appointment online. To find out more about the LloydsPharmacy vaccination service, please visit their information pages or ask in-store. 

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LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor

This service operates in the United Kingdom only

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