With everything that has been discussed about vaccinations in the past few months, I understand your concern. With each vaccination, either a killed virus or parts of it are presented to the immune system. As a result, it develops “defense guns”. With them it is – in the event of a real infection – well armed and can stand up to the uninvited intruder and prevent its destructive work in our organism.
Human papillomaviruses (HPV) are among the most common pathogens. They are mostly transmitted sexually. If they don’t provoke the annoying wet warts, they usually lie dormant in the body for many years, unnoticed. However, it is now known that almost 90 percent of cervical cancer cases come from it – but also often carcinomas in the anus, penis, mouth and throat.
I consider this vaccination to be one of the most important medical achievements that have been developed in recent years. In particular, the two high-risk types of this virus family (types 16 and 18) can be defused in this way. Since there are hardly any severe side effects with HPV immunization, the benefit compared to the risk of possible later cancer development is enormous. At most, local redness and minor pain at the puncture site and perhaps a little tiredness are to be expected. The benefit of this intervention will only become evident epidemiologically in a few years.
However, since each vaccination must be seen individually, I recommend, despite my positive view, that you seek personal advice from your doctor.
Do you have questions about health?
Write to OÖN doctor Johannes Neuhofer (dermatologist), who oversees this column with a team of doctors: Clemens Steinwender (cardiologist), Reinhold Függer (surgeon), Rainer Schöfl (gastroenterologist), Josef Hochreiter (orthopaedist), Werner Schöny (psychiatrist).