HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine - what you need to know

Definition

All content below is taken in its entirety from the CDC HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine Information Statement (VIS): www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/hpv.html.

CDC review information for HPV (Human Papillomavirus) VIS:

Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

Information

WHY GET VACCINATED?

HPV vaccine prevents human papillomavirus (HPV) types that are associated with many cancers, including:

In addition, HPV vaccine prevents infection with HPV types that cause genital warts in both females and males.

In the U.S., about 12,000 women get cervical cancer every year, and about 4,000 women die from it. HPV vaccine can prevent most of these cases of cervical cancer.

Vaccination is not a substitute for cervical cancer screening. This vaccine does not protect against all HPV types that can cause cervical cancer. Women should get regular pap tests.

HPV infection usually comes from sexual contact, and most people will become infected at some point in their life. About 14 million Americans, including teens, get infected every year. Most infections will go away and not cause serious problems. But thousands of women and men get cancer and diseases from HPV.

HPV VACCINE

HPV vaccine is approved by the FDA and is recommended by the CDC for both males and females. It is routinely given at 11 or 12 years of age, but it may be given beginning at age 9 years through age 26 years.

Most adolescents 9 through 14 years of age should get HPV vaccine as a two-dose series with the doses separated by 6 to 12 months. People who start HPV vaccination at 15 years of age and older should get the vaccine as a three-dose series with the second dose given 1 to 2 months after the first dose and the third dose given 6 months after the first dose. There are several exceptions to these age recommendations. Your health care provider can give you more information.

SOME PEOPLE SHOULD NOT GET THIS VACCINE

RISKS OF A VACCINE REACTION

With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible.

Most people who get HPV vaccine do not have any serious problems with it.

Mild or moderate problems following HPV vaccine:

Reactions in the arm where the shot was given:

Fever:

Other problems:

Problems that could happen after any injected vaccine:

As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.

The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/index.html

WHAT IF THERE IS A SERIOUS REACTION?

What should I look for?

Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of a severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or unusual behavior.

Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would usually start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

What should I do?

If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that can't wait, call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.

Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor should file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS web site at vaers.hhs.gov, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

VAERS does not give medical advice.

THE NATIONAL VACCINE INJURY COMPENSATION PROGRAM

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.

Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccine-compensation/index.html. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?

Ask your health care provider. He or she can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.

Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


Review Date: 5/17/2018
Reviewed By: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

This information 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. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. © 1997- 2007 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.