In every medical manipulation, it is crucial to evaluate the expected positive outcome and possible risks that can happen. It is also true when it comes to vaccination in general and HPV vaccination in particular. HPV vaccination provokes many discussions on its safety and comparability of risks of vaccination and the possibility to get HPV without being vaccinated. It is common for patients to ask about the safety of medical manipulations, so if a patient asks if the risk of the vaccine is greater than the chance of getting HPV, I will answer in the following way.
Of course, every medical intervention has some risks. In cases of the HPV vaccine, there is little evidence of its negative influence on the vaccinated individuals. It has some side effects such as pain, swelling, or redness in the place of injection, headaches, and allergies. However, allergic reactions, especially severe, are very rare. Moreover, the research proves that HPV vaccination does not increase the risks of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases (Scheller et al., 2015).
At the same time, the report of HPV Information Center provides a frightening statistics. Thus, every year among 2,784 million women aged fifteen, 527,624 are diagnosed with cervical cancer which is caused by HPV (Information Centre on HPV and Cancer, 2017). Also, cervical cancer has the fourth position in incidence among other cancers and is the second in mortality (Information Centre on HPV and Cancer, 2017).
Thus, I will try to explain to the patient that the HPV vaccine is comparatively safe and there are more benefits from vaccination than risks of possible vaccine-associated problems. In case the patient does not have severe allergic reactions or other limitations to vaccination, the HPV vaccine should be taken.
Information Centre on HPV and Cancer. (2017). Human Papillomavirus and related disease report. Web.
Scheller, N.M., Swanström, H., Pasternak, B., Arnheim-Dahlström, L., Sundström, K., Fink, K., & Hviid, A. (2015). Quadrivalent HPV vaccination and risk of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. Journal of the American Medical Association,313(1), 54-61. Web.