Administering HPV Vaccine

Dosage and Schedule

  • CDC recommends routine vaccination of preteens at ages 11 or 12.
  • The vaccination series can be started at age 9 years.
  • HPV vaccines are administered as a two-dose series (0, 6-12 months) for most persons who initiate vaccination at ages 9 through 14 years, and a three-dose series (0, 1-2, 6 months) for persons who initiate at ages 15 through 45 years, and for immunocompromised persons.

Vaccine Information

Only 9-valent HPV vaccine (Gardasil® 9) has been available for use in the United States since late 2016.

HPV vaccines that are licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2006
9-valent HPV vaccine (Gardasil® 9)
Manufacturer Merck
Year Licensed December 2014 for males and females
HPV types protected against by vaccine HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58
Adjuvant in vaccine AAHS:
500 μg amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate
Recommended for…
  • Females and males ages 11 or 12 (can start at age 9 years)
  • Persons ages 13 through 26 years who have not been adequately vaccinated previously
Contraindicated for…
  • People with immediate hypersensitivity to yeast
  • 9-valent HPV vaccine protects against HPV 16 and 18, HPV types that cause about 66% of cervical cancers and the majority of other HPV-attributable cancers in the United States, and five additional cancer-causing types, which account for about 15% of cervical cancers. It also protects against HPV 6 and 11, HPV types that cause most anogenital warts.

For more information on immunization schedules, see the Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule and the Adult Immunization Schedule.

Preparation for Administration

Administering Vaccines: Dose, Route, Site and Needle Size

Administering Vaccines: Dose, Route, Site and Needle Size.

Immunization Action Coalition

  • Shake well before use. Thorough agitation immediately before administration is necessary to maintain suspension of the vaccine.
  • Do not dilute or mix with other vaccines.
  • After thorough agitation, HPV vaccine is a white, cloudy liquid.
  • Inspect the product visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration.
  • Do not use the product if particulates are present or if it appears discolored.

For full instructions on dosage preparation, see the 9-valent HPV vaccine package insertexternal icon.

Vaccine Administration

HPV vaccines should be administered intramuscularly in the deltoid region of the upper arm or in the higher anterolateral area of the thigh. The preferred site of administration is the deltoid region of the upper arm. Do not administer this product intravenously, intradermally, or subcutaneously.

Recommended number of doses and schedule
Recommended number of doses Recommended dosing schedule Population
2 0, 6–12 months* Persons initiating vaccination at ages 9 through 14 years, except immunocompromised persons
3 0, 1–2, 6 months** Persons initiating vaccination at ages 15 through 26 years, and immunocompromised persons initiating vaccination at ages 9 through 26 years; three-dose schedule also applies to adults initiating vaccination at ages 27 through 45 years.


* In a two-dose schedule of HPV vaccine, the minimum interval is 5 months between the first and second dose.
** In a three-dose schedule of HPV vaccine, the minimum intervals are 4 weeks between the first and second dose, 12 weeks between the second and third dose, and 5 months between the first and third dose.

HPV vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.


Top of Page

Page last reviewed: March 17, 2020