Superdrug has announced that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is now available in even more Nurse Clinics and selected Pharmacy stores in England, Scotland and Wales. The announcement comes on the back of service uptake for the vaccine increasing by 224% over two months earlier this year.
The in-store HPV vaccination service priced at £150 per dose is suitable for patients aged between nine years and 26 years old, and depending on age, two or three doses are recommended. The vaccination is now available in 62 stores nationwide.
The increased availability of the HPV Vaccination service comes at a time when Cancer Research UK is projecting that cancer rates will climb nearly six times faster in women than in men over the next 20 years with the projected incidence for cervical cancer being identified as one of the highest rising rates.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women aged 35 and under. Almost all cases of cervical cancer (99.7%) are caused by persistent infections with the Human Papilloma Virus. HPV is a very common infection that four out of five sexually active adults will come into contact with in their lives. The infection often clears by itself due to the body’s immune response however in some cases, the infection persists and remains unnoticed. In some cases, it can cause genital warts, however the types of HPV that cause warts are considered low risk for cervical cancer. In others with persistent ‘high-risk’ HPV infections, the virus damages the cells’ DNA and causes cells to start dividing and growing out of control. This can then lead to cancer.
Currently all girls aged 12 to 13 are offered the HPV vaccination as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme. While it’s not routinely provided to teenage boys, it is still highly beneficial for young men. HPV is associated with certain types of penile, anal and throat cancer, as well as genital warts. The vaccine will lower the risk of developing these types of cancer while also helping protect men from genital warts, a very common sexually transmitted disease. As with women, it is best to get vaccinated early on in life before having been infected with any type of HPV.
Dr. Pixie, Superdrug’s Health and Wellbeing Ambassador, commented, “I’m a great advocate of HPV vaccination as it protects against both cancer and genital warts. This new version of HPV vaccine protects against more strains than ever before providing even more protection for those who elect to have it. It is truly incredible that we now have a vaccination which will directly impact cervical cancer rates in the future.”
Robert Music, Chief Executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust said: “The Human papillomavirus vaccination offers one of the best forms of protection against cervical cancer. Uptake of the free vaccination, offered through the NHS childhood vaccination programme, is currently at 86% and increasing each year which is extremely positive to see. Research has shown that if uptake of the vaccination continues at over 80% we could see a two thirds reduction in cervical cancer incidence in women under 30 by 2025. Cervical cancer is largely preventable however every day nine women are diagnosed with the disease and two will sadly lose their lives. I would encourage all women to take steps to protect themselves against cervical cancer and it is excellent to see Superdrug providing that opportunity.”
Nicola Hart, Head of Healthcare Services at Superdrug added, “We are seeing a high demand for the vaccine as customers become increasingly aware that it’s possible to protect themselves against HPV. We’re delighted to extend the availability of this vaccine to more nurse clinics and pharmacies across the UK, allowing customers to have their vaccination at a convenient high street location”
To ensure privacy and comfort, vaccinations are administered by a trained Pharmacist or Nurse in a private consultation room. To make an appointment, please call Superdrug’s booking line on 03331 223 523, or to find out more visit: onlinedoctor.superdrug.com/hpv-vaccination.html
About the HPV Vaccine
The HPV vaccine protects against several strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer in women, anal and penile cancer in men and genital warts in both sexes. The vaccine is offered as part of the NHS vaccination programme to girls between the ages of 12 and 13 but it is also recommended for men and women under the age of 27 in order to help protect them against these diseases.
The new vaccine protects against the HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58. Types 6 and 11 cause 90% of genital warts. Genital warts are benign growths which occur in the genital area. They are not dangerous but they need to be treated, and you can also pass them onto other sexual partners. Once you have been infected, you may remain contagious for life and the warts can recur at any point in life, especially if your immune system is weakened. Types 16 and 18 (and others) are the primary cause of cervical cancer in women and they are also associated with cancers of the vagina, throat, penis and anus.
This article is sponsored by Superdrug