HPV Vaccination

Many of our pharmacists are pleased to offer the HPV vaccine to both male and females age 9 to 26 years. Please note that children may be eligible for a free HPV vaccine as per the NHS vaccination programme (ask our pharmacists for more information).

All MSM aged up to and including 45 years old are eligible for Gardasil® vaccination under the NHS MSM programme, if they have not already previously been vaccinated.

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is a very common virus with over 100 types.

In most cases, your immune system will be able to get rid of it. However, sometimes a HPV infection can persist and it can lead to certain types of cancer, as well as genital warts. There are many types of HPV, some of which are called “high risk” because they’re linked to the development of certain cancers, including cervical and anal. Cervical cancer can be very serious. After breast cancer, it’s the most common women’s cancer in the world. It’s also the most common cancer in women under 35 years of age in Scotland. The vaccine will prevent around 75% of cervical cancer cases, but screening is still needed to pick up any other cervical abnormalities.

HPV infections do not usually cause any symptoms, and most people will not know they’re infected.

HPV can be caught through any kind of intimate sexual contact with another person who already has it. Most people will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives and their bodies will get rid of it naturally without treatment. However, in some cases, the infection can persist and remain unnoticed. 

It is important to take precautions against sexually transmitted infections, for example using a condom. It must be noted that condoms may not fully protect you from HPV as the virus can live on the skin in and around the genital area. 

There are two vaccines available to protect you against strains of HPV: Gardasil and Gardasil 9. Both protect against the main strains of HPV: 6, 11, 16 and 18. HPV types 16 and 18 account for 80% of cervical cancers, and are also associated with cancer of the anus, penis, throat, mouth, vagina and vulva. HPV types 6 and 11 cause around 90% of genital warts. Gardasil 9 protects against 5 other strains, providing maximum coverage. 

Please note if you are pregnant, breast feeding, over the age of 27 years or have any allergies to the HPV vaccine you are unable to receive the vaccine.

The vaccine should not be assumed as only suitable for women. Men should also consider getting the vaccine particularly those who have different sexual partners and those who have sex with men as these groups have a higher risk of catching HPV.

Depending on your age you may receive two or three doses of the vaccine. The HPV vaccine is offered to both boys and girls in S1 as part of the NHS immunisation programme (please ask our pharmacists for more information). 

Following the injection your arm may be a little tender, swollen, red or form a small, painless hard lump where you got the jag. Don’t worry – these are quite common reactions and will disappear after a couple of days. 

Don’t forget you will still need to go for your Cervical Screening (smear test) even after vaccination. If you have any symptoms you are worried about, such as abnormal bleeding, we recommend you see a health professional as soon as possible.

The cost varies on the vaccine type. Gardasil costs £125 per vaccination and protects against the four main strains.  Gardasil 9 costs £150 per vaccination but protects against nine strains.

1

Complete Questionnaire

Fill out a simple online questionnaire and our pharmacist will assess which HPV vaccine is appropriate for you.

2

Book Appointment

We will contact you to book an appointment and will send you the information you need to know before your appointment.

3

Attend Appointment

Visit the pharmacy for your appointment and receive your vaccination.