HPV vaccines are given as a series of three shots over 6 months to protect against HPV infection and the health problems that HPV infection can cause. There are three HPV vaccines (Cervarix, Gardasil, and Gardasil 9). Girls and young women should get any of these HPV vaccines to prevent cervical cancer.
Two of the HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Gardasil 9) also protect against genital warts and anal cancer in both females and males. Boys should get one of these HPV vaccines to prevent anal cancer and genital warts. Girls can get either of these vaccines to prevent cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, anal cancer and genital warts.
HPV vaccines offer the best protection to girls and boys who receive all three vaccine doses and have time to develop an immune response before being sexually active with another person. That's why HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years.
Who else should get the HPV vaccine?
All kids who are 11 or 12 years old should get the three-dose series of HPV vaccine to protect against HPV. Teen boys and girls who did not start or finish the HPV vaccine series when they were younger should get it now. Young women can get HPV vaccine through age 26, and young men can get vaccinated through age 21. The vaccine is also recommended for any man who has sex with men through age 26, and for men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not get HPV vaccine when they were younger.
Read more: HPV Vaccine - Questions & Answers
- Page last reviewed: January 26, 2015
- Page last updated: January 26, 2015
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