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HPV vaccine

Definition

The HPV vaccine protects against infection by certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

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

Alternative Names

Vaccine - HPV; Immunization - HPV; Gardasil; Cervarix; HPV2; HPV4; Vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

Information

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:

Two vaccines called HPV2 (Cervarix) and HPV4 (Gardasil) are approved:

These vaccines do not treat cervical cancer.

WHO SHOULD GET THIS VACCINE

HPV4 (Gardasil) is approved for:

HPV2 (Cervarix) is approved for:

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

Girls and women ages 13 to 26:

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

Boys and men ages 13 to 21:

Men ages 22 to 26:

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 lead to cervical cancer. Girls and women should still receive regular screening (Pap smear) 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 health care provider if:

References

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Committee Opinion No. 588: Human Papillomavirus Vaccination. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;123:712-8.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Infectious Diseases. Policy Statement: HPV vaccine recommendations. Pediatrics. 2012. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-3865.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedules for Persons Aged 0 Through 18 Years - United States, 2014. MMWR. 2014;63(05):108-109.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedules for Adults Aged 19 Years or Older - United States, 2014. MMWR. 2014;63(05): 110-112.

Kahn JA. HPV vaccination for the prevention of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:271-278.

Slade BA, Leidel L, Vellozzi C, Woo EJ, Hua W, Sutherland A, et al. Postlicensure safety surveillance for quadrivalent human papillomavirus recombinant vaccine. JAMA. 2009 Aug 19;302(7):750-757.



Review Date: 3/11/2014
Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Bellevue, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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