HPV vaccination is recommended routinely for males and females aged 11 or 12 years and can be administered beginning at age 9 years.
What is HPV?
HPV is short for Human Papillomavirus, Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus that is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. Most of the time, the body clears the virus. However, people who do not naturally clear the infection may have health problems that develop, including pre-cancers and cancers of the throat and mouth, cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, or anus as well as genital warts. You can learn which cancers are caused by HPV on the CDC’s website.
When is the right time to get vaccinated?
According to the CDC, early protection works best. Children ages 11–12 years should get two doses of HPV vaccine, given 6 to 12 months apart. Gardasil HPV vaccines can be given starting at age 9. ACIP also recommends vaccination for everyone through age 26 years if not adequately vaccinated when younger. Some adults ages 27 through 45 years might decide to get the HPV vaccine based on discussion with their clinician. HPV vaccination of people in this age range provides less benefit. Speak with you or your child’s primary care provider if you have questions.
How many doses of the vaccine are needed?
Most children who get the first dose before 15 years of age need 2 doses of HPV vaccine. People who get the first dose at or after 15 years of age and younger people with certain immunocompromising conditions need 3 doses. Your health care provider can give you more information.
Why should your child be vaccinated?
HPV infections and cervical precancers (abnormal cells on the cervix that can lead to cancer) have dropped since 2006, when HPV vaccines were first used in the United States. The incidence of HPV infections in teen girls and young women women and according to the CDC, the percentage of cervical precancers caused by the HPV types most often linked to cervical cancer has dropped by 40 percent in vaccinated women.
The Gardasil HPV vaccine went through strict safety testing before being licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. An additional 15 years of monitoring during the vaccination program continue to demonstrate that the vaccine is safe. As with all vaccines there are possible side effects. Common side effects are mild and subside within a day or two. Potential side effects include: pain, redness, or swelling at injection site; fever; dizziness or fainting; nausea; headache or feeling tired; and muscle or joint pain. More information on the vaccines safety can be found HERE.
Tell the doctor or nurse if your child has any severe allergies, like an allergy to latex or yeast.
We encourage families to check with their insurance provider regarding coverage for HPV vaccines.
Ready to Make an Appointment?
Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatric, Podiatry, and Eye appointments can now be made online.
Other appointments, including shot only appointments, should be made by phone.
Please call the number below if you have questions or have trouble scheduling online.