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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

By

Margot L. Savoy

, MD, MPH, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Full review/revision Jan 2023
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION

The HPV vaccine contains only certain parts of the virus. The vaccine does not contain any live virus and thus cannot cause HPV infection.

For more information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine information statement.

There are three vaccines for HPV:

  • Nine-valent: Protects against nine types of HPV

  • Quadrivalent: Protects against four types of HPV

  • Bivalent: Protects against two types of HPV

All three HPV vaccines protect against the two types of HPV (types 16 and 18) that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of anal cancers. The nine-valent and quadrivalent vaccines protect against the two types of HPV (types 6 and 11) that cause more than 90% of genital warts, in addition to protecting against types 16 and 18. Only the nine-valent vaccine and quadrivalent vaccine are recommended for boys and men.

Only the nine-valent vaccine is currently available in the United States.

Administration of HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine is given as an injection into a muscle in a 2-dose or a 3-dose series. If the initial dose of the HPV vaccination is given at age 9 to 14 years, a 2-dose series is given. If the initial dose of the HPV vaccination is given at age 15 years or older, a 3-dose series is given (see routine childhood vaccination Childhood Vaccination Schedule Most doctors follow the vaccination schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC—see the schedule for infants and children and the schedule for older children... read more ).

The vaccine is recommended for

  • All males and females at age 11 or 12 (but can be started at age 9) and previously unvaccinated or not adequately vaccinated people through age 26 years

  • All adults age 27 to 45 years after discussing with their doctor whether they should be vaccinated

  • People who have a condition that weakens their immune system, including HIV infection, should receive a 3-dose series regardless of their age when the initial dose is given

If people have a temporary illness, doctors usually wait to give the vaccine until the illness resolves (see also CDC: Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated With These Vaccines?).

Side Effects of HPV Vaccine

The injection site sometimes becomes sore, swollen, and red. No serious side effects have been reported.

More Information

The following English-language resources may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
VIEW PROFESSIONAL VERSION
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