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HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine for Adolescents

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is an injection given to protect your adolescent against HPV infection. The HPV vaccine is the most effective way to prevent most cancers caused by HPV infection. HPV infection may also cause genital warts. HPV is commonly spread by sexual contact. The HPV vaccine is most effective if it is given before sexual activity begins. This allows your adolescent's body to build protection against HPV before coming in contact with the virus. The HPV vaccine is still effective after sexual activity has begun.

What is the HPV vaccine schedule?

The first dose is recommended at 11 to 12 years but may be given as early as 9 years. The HPV vaccine can be given with other vaccines. If your adolescent is not vaccinated by age 12, he or she can still get the vaccine. The vaccine can be given through age 26.

Recommended HPV Immunization Schedule

What are reasons my adolescent should not get the vaccine or should wait to get it?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What are the risks of the HPV vaccine?

The area where the shot was given may be painful, red, or swollen. Your adolescent may have a fever or headache. Your adolescent may still get an HPV infection, even after getting the vaccine. Your adolescent may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my adolescent's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.