Sharon from Mt Tamborine, Queensland, Australia asked:

Do you need to have Pap tests if you’ve had the vaccine?

Do you need to have Pap tests if you’ve had the vaccine?

I read an article that says the cervical cancer vaccine (Gardasil) may mean Pap Smears become obsolete. I just finished having the vaccine, does that mean I no longer need to have Pap Smears?

The source:
Our answer

The availability of a vaccine to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV) is a great development and will further reduce Australia’s cervical cancer rates, however it is not a substitute for the Pap screen. Even for girls who are vaccinated, Pap tests are important. This is because the vaccine is effective against two specific strains of HPV, and while these strains cause up to 70 per cent of cervical cancers, the vaccine does not protect against all types of cancer-causing HPV. Cancer Council Australia recommends all women aged 18 to 69 continue to have regular Pap smears every two years, as advised by the National Cervical Screening Program.

This page was last updated on: July 9, 2014

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