Cervical cancer vaccination

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Information & Advice


Cervical cancer vaccination

The cervical cancer vaccination can help to protect you from the most common causes of cervical cancer caused by the HPV virus.

What causes cervical cancer?

The two most common causes of cervical cancer come from a virus called the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and account for 70 percent of cervical cancers. It is estimated that two out of three women will catch HPV at some point in their lives and in the majority of cases the body is able to get rid of it. However in a small number of women, it stays in the cervix, and can lead to cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccination will give you protection against the two most common types of HPV, which are called types 16 and 18.

Who can get the HPV vaccination at Boots?

If you are a women aged between 18 and 54 and are registered with a doctor, you may be able to get the HPV vaccination at selected Boots stores. To find the Boots store nearest to you which offers the HPV vaccination, click on the handy store locator.

In addition to this, you must also meet certain criteria to be given the HPV vaccination. If you answer 'no' to the following questions then you may be eligible for the vaccination:

  • Are you pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to become pregnant in the next six months?
  • Have you had a hysterectomy?
  • Have you had any previous vaccinations for cervical cancer?
  • Have you had an allergic reaction to a vaccine before?
  • Do you have any current illness such as a fever or infection?

The vaccination will protect you against the most common viruses but it does not protect against all of them. You still need to have regular smear tests and live a healthy lifestyle to give you the best protection against cervical cancer.

You should always let your Boots pharmacist know if you are taking any medicines or have any medical conditions.

How much does the HPV vaccination cost?

You will need to have a total of three vaccinations, which in total cost £297. After the first vaccination you will need to return to Boots after one month for the second vaccination and then again after six months for the third and final vaccination.

You will earn Advantage Card points when you purchase the HPV vaccination programme.

How can I get the HPV vaccination?

To get the HPV vaccination from Boots you will need to complete these three simple steps:

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3

Come to a participating Boots store to talk to a pharmacist

Series of three vaccinations from your Boots pharmacist

Follow-up advice and guidance

A confidential consultation with your Boots pharmacist to determine whether the service is suitable for you.

Your Boots pharmacist will:

  • check if the vaccination service is appropriate for you
  • provide detailed information on the vaccination available from Boots
  • answer your questions

If you are eligible for the HPV vaccination, you will receive the first of your vaccinations from your Boots pharmacist.

You will then be booked in for your second vaccination one month later and the third and final vaccination, in six months' time.

Your Boots pharmacist will provide you with lifestyle advice to enable you to help protect yourself against cervical cancer.

How does the HPV vaccination work?

The HPV vaccination works by boosting your immune system and stimulating the production of antibodies to the virus. The HPV vaccination is not a treatment to stop the cancer itself. Instead it works by stopping the virus infecting in the first place. Immunity has been shown to last more than seven years. It is not known whether a booster dose might be needed in the future.

It is vitally important that you still have cervical smear tests on a regular basis, as the vaccination will only protect against 70 percent of cancers. Smear tests will detect early changes in the cervix, long before any cancer develops.

You can also reduce the risk of getting cervical cancer by leading a healthy lifestyle and not smoking. Using a condom can also help but this will not completely protect you against the virus.

A Boots pharmacist can give you advice and help about cervical cancer and other women's health issues.