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Hpv (human Papillomavirus) Vaccine


What is the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is an injection given to females and males to protect against human papillomavirus infection. HPV is most commonly spread through sexual activity. It can also be spread from a mother to her baby during delivery. The HPV vaccine is most effective if given before sexual activity begins. This allows your body to build almost complete protection against HPV before you have contact with the virus. The HPV vaccine is still effective up to the age of 26 after sexual activity has begun.

Who should get the HPV vaccine?

The first dose of the vaccine may be given as early as 9 years of age.

  • All females and males 11 to 12 years of age
  • Females 13 through 26 years of age, and males 13 through 21 years of age, who have not been vaccinated
  • Men up to 26 years of age who have sex with other men, and have not been vaccinated
  • Anyone with weak immune systems, including infection with HIV, up to 26 years of age

How is the vaccine given?

The HPV vaccine can be given with other vaccinations. The vaccine is given in 3 doses:

  • The first dose is given at any time. It is most effective at 11 or 12 years old.
  • The second dose is given 1 to 2 months after the first dose.
  • The third dose is given 6 months after the first dose.

Who should not get the HPV vaccine or should wait to get it?

Do not get a second dose if you had a severe allergic reaction to the first dose. Do not get the vaccine if you are pregnant. If you are sick, you should wait to get the vaccine until symptoms go away.

What are the risks of the HPV vaccine?

You may have pain, redness, or swelling where the shot was given. You may have a fever or headache. You may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. This can be life-threatening.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing, hives, or wheezing.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have a high fever or behavior changes that concern you.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have questions or concerns about the HPV vaccine.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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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