HPV vaccine

Vaccine - HPV; Immunization - HPV; Gardasil; Cervarix; HPV2; HPV4; Vaccine to prevent cervical cancer; Genital warts - HPV vaccine; Cervical dysplasia - HPV vaccine; Cervical cancer - HPV vaccine; Cancer of the cervix - HPV vaccine; Abnormal Pap smear - HPV vaccine; Vaccination - HPV vaccine

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine protects against infection by certain strains of HPV. Human papillomaviruscan cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

HPV has also been linked to other kinds of cancers, including vaginal, vulvar, penile, anal, mouth and throat cancers.

HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. There are several types of HPV. Many of the types do not cause problems. Some types of HPV can lead to:

  • Cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer
  • Genital warts
  • Cancer of the penis
  • Cancer of the anus
  • Warts in the throat
  • Cancers of the mouth, tongue, and throat

Three vaccines are approved:

  • HPV2 (Cervarix)
  • HPV4 (Gardasil)
  • HPV9 (Gardasil 9)

Both vaccines protect against the two types of HPV that cause most cases of cervical cancer. Other, less common types of HPV can also cause cervical cancer.

HPV4 (Gardasil) also protects against two other types of HPV that cause most cases of genital warts in women and men.

These vaccines do not treat cervical cancer.

WHO SHOULD GET THIS VACCINE

HPV4 (Gardasil) is approved for:

  • Females ages 9 to 26 to protect against cervical cancer and to prevent genital warts
  • Males ages 9 to 26 to prevent genital warts

HPV2 (Cervarix) is approved for:

  • Females ages 10 to 26 to help protect against cervical cancer

Girls ages 11 and 12 should receive the HPV vaccine series:

  • The vaccine is given in 3 shots over a 6-month period. The 2nd and 3rd shots are given 2 and 6 months after the first shot.
  • One brand of vaccine can be substituted for another in the 3-dose series. The HPV vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
  • Girls as young as age 9 can receive the vaccine if their health care provider recommends it.

Girls and women ages 13 to 26:

  • Those who have not received the HPV vaccine in the past should get a series of 3 shots.
  • Those who have not completed the full vaccine series should catch up on missed shots.

Boys ages 11 to 12 should receive the HPV4 (Gardasil) vaccine series:

  • To reduce the chance of becoming infected with genital and anal warts. The vaccine also reduces the risk for cancer of the penis and anus.
  • The vaccine is given in 3 shots over a 6-month period. The 2nd and 3rd shots are given 2 and 6 months after the first shot.
  • Boys as young as age 9 can receive the vaccine if their provider recommends it.

Boys and men ages 13 to 21:

  • Those who have not received the vaccine in the past should get a series of 3 shots.
  • Those who have not completed the full vaccine series should catch up on missed shots.

Men ages 22 to 26:

  • Those who have not received the vaccine in the past may still get the series of 3 shots. Talk to your provider.
  • Those who have not finished the full vaccine series may catch up on missed shots. Talk to your provider.
  • You should get the vaccine if you have sex with men.
  • You should get the vaccine if your immune system is weak due to HIV, other conditions, or medicine.

Pregnant women should not receive this vaccine. However, there have been no problems found in women who received the vaccine during pregnancy, before they knew they were pregnant.

SIDE EFFECTS

The most common side effects are fainting, dizziness, nausea, headache, and skin reactions at the site where the shot was given.

WHAT ELSE TO THINK ABOUT

The HPV vaccine does not protect against all types of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer. Girls and women should still receive regular screening (Pap test) to look for precancerous changes and early signs of cervical cancer.

The HPV vaccine does not protect against other infections that can be spread during sexual contact.

Talk to your provider if:

  • You are not sure whether you or your child should receive the HPV vaccine
  • You or your child develops complications or severe symptoms after getting an HPV vaccine
  • You have other questions or concerns about the HPV vaccine.

Information