Human Papillomavirus


About the Vaccine:

  • Although nearly all people will be exposed to HPV at some point in their lifetime, the HPV vaccine provides protection against the disease and the six forms of cancer it is known to cause.
  • The HPV vaccine is most effective when given between the ages of 11-12 or as early as 9 years old.
  • Even if previously infected, the vaccine may provide additional protection against different HPV types.
  • The HPV vaccine also offers protection against genital warts.


Who should get the vaccine:

  • Pre-teens
  • Teens
  • Adults

Poblaciones de alto riesgo:

  • All young women and men through age 26 who haven't been previously vaccinated
  • Adults under 26 who are gay, bisexual, transgender or immunocompromised
  • Children and youth with a history of sexual assault or abuse

Schedule information:

  • Children may receive the vaccine as early as 9, but it is recommended between the ages of 11-12 with a second dose 6-12 months later.
  • Older teens who start the vaccine after their 15th birthday require 3 doses over a 6 month period.
  • For adults ages 27-45 who are not fully vaccinated, health care providers may consider HPV vaccination.

Vaccination prevents 90% of HPV cancers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Safety & side effects:

With over 100 million doses administered and a 10-year safety record, the HPV vaccine is considered very safe.

Just as with any medication, there are potential side effects to vaccines. Talk to your health care provider about specific side effects associated with this vaccine and learn more about vaccine safety and common side effects.

Pregnancy considerations:

The HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. If you have already received the vaccine while pregnant, there is no reason to expect any issues and no intervention is required.

Breastfeeding women may receive the vaccine without issues.

70% of cervical cancers are caused by just two types of HPV.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

About HPV

HPV is a common infection caused by any one of over 150 related viruses. Approximately 14 million Americans, including teens, become infected every year. Some infections can lead to six different kinds of cancer later in life.


HPV is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. Infection typically occurs soon after a person’s first sexual activity. Most sexually active adults have been exposed to the disease, but new infections can be prevented by a vaccine.


Most cases of HPV do not exhibit symptoms but can cause genital warts in some cases. Nine times out of 10, the infection goes away on its own but can also linger for decades and lead to cancer years later. HPV is known to cause the following cancers:

  • Cervical cancer
  • Anal cancer
  • Penile cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Oropharyngeal (mouth or throat) cancer

Nearly 80 million Americans are currently infected with HPV.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention