The HPV vaccine protects against several strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer in women, anal and penile cancer in men, and genital warts in both sexes.
About the HPV vaccine
What does the recent schedule change mean? The NHS has changed it’s guidance on how many HPV vaccinations are required. If you are starting a new course most people will only require 2 doses, if you started a course before 1st April you should continue on your current schedule. Your nurse will be able to advise the most appropriate schedule for you. More information can be found in our FAQs.
Who can get vaccinated? It is best to get vaccinated before you have sex for the first time as this means you are protected before you are first exposed to HPV. You will still benefit from the vaccine if you have had sex.
Boosters: Boosters are not currently recommended.
How it is given? Injection in the upper arm.
Side effects: You may experience mild side effects, such as dizziness, nausea, headache or fever.
Age restrictions: The HPV vaccine (Gardasil 9) is suitable for children over the age of nine, and women and men up to the age of 45.
Additional precautions: Use a condom every time you have sex to reduce the chance of catching HPV as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Women should attend cervical screening (smear tests) regularly.