What is HPV?
HPV is a common virus that is passed on through sexual contact. Most of the time, HPV has no symptoms; so people do not know they have it. There are many different strains or types of HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer in women and can also cause other kinds of cancer in both men and women. Other types of HPV can cause genital warts in both males and females. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What HPV vaccines are available in the United States?
Two HPV vaccines are currently licensed in the United States. One of the vaccines, Gardasil (HPV4), works against four strains of the virus and is licensed by the Food and Drug Administration for both boys and girls ages 9 through 26 years. The other vaccine Cervarix (HPV2), against only two strains of the virus is only approved for use in girls ages 9 through 26 years. Both vaccines are given in 3 shots over 6 months.
HPV vaccines offer greatest health benefits to individuals who receive all three doses before having any type of sexual activity. That’s why HPV is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 years.
Who should get the HPV vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all 11 or 12 year old girls get the 3 doses of either brand of HPV vaccine to protect against cervical cancer. Gardasil also protects against most genital warts, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina and anus. Girls and young women ages 13 through 26 should get HPV vaccine if they have not received any or all doses when they were younger.
CDC also recommends Gardasil for all boys age 11 or 12 years, and for males 13 through 21 years of age, who did not get any or all of the three recommended doses when they were younger. All men may receive the vaccine through age 26, and should speak with their doctor to find out if getting vaccinated is right for them.
The vaccine is also recommended for gay and bisexual men (or any man who has sex with men) and men with compromised immune systems (including HIV) through age 26, if they did not get fully vaccinated when they were younger.
Are the HPV vaccines safe and effective?
The FDA has licensed the vaccines as safe and effective. Both vaccines were tested in thousands of people around the world. These studies showed no serious side effects. Common, mild side effects included pain where the shot was given, fever, headache, and nausea. As of September 2011, approximately 40 million doses of quadrivalent HPV vaccine were distributed in the United States. As with all vaccines, CDC and FDA continue to monitor the safety of these vaccines very carefully.
Where to get the HPV Vaccine in Texas
- City or county health department
- Call 2-1-1 Texas.
- Call 1.800.252.9152
- Email (LupeM.Garcia@dshs.state.tx.us)
- For email: please provide your zip code and city
- Ask your doctor or nurse
The HPV vaccine is available to all uninsured or underinsured males and females between the ages of 9-18 through the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) Program.
ACIP Recommendations on HPV vaccine
FDA Licensure of Quadrivalent Human Papilomavirus Vaccine (HPV4, Gardasil)
For Use in Males and Guidance From the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP - May 28, 2010 )
FDA Licensure of Bivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV2, Cervarix)
For use in Females and Updated HPV Vaccination Recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP-March 28, 2010)
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) December 23, 2011
Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine
Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
HPV What You Need to Know (see #7 in English and Spanish)
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) August 24, 2007
Prevalence of HPV Infection Among Sexually Active Females Aged 14--59
American Cancer Society
What Are the Key Statistics About Cervical Cancer?
What Every Woman Should Know About Cervical Cancer and the Human Papilloma Virus
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
HPV and Men - CDC Fact Sheet
HPV Vaccine - Questions & Answers
HPV and HPV Vaccine - Information for Healthcare Providers
Immunization Action Coalition
HPV Resources for Providers/Parents
Texas Department of State Health Services Immunization Branch Vaccine Advisory
March 26, 2012 - Advisory No. 22. New Recommendations on the Use of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine in Males
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