Nearly all men and women will get at least one type of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) at some point in their lives. The HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 is now recommended for all girls and boys when they are 11 or 12 years old.
HPV immunizations are recombinant viral protein vaccines. They contain highly purified virus-like particles, but they do not contain any viral DNA. Therefore, they can’t infect healthy cells, replicate, or cause disease.
There are two types of HPV vaccines:
- Gardasil® Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine (Genotypes 6, 11, 16, 18) — Produced in recombinant S. Cerevisiea culture, contains Aluminum Hydroxyphosphate, Polysorbate 80, sodium borate, and L Histidine.
- Cervarix® Bivalent HPV Vaccine (Genotypes 16, 18) — Produced in recombinant Baculovirus expression vector system, contains Aluminum Hydroxide plus deacylated monophosphoryl Lipid A used as an adjuvant (AS04).
- Gardasil 9
- Gardasil – no longer marketed in the U.S.
- Cervarix – no longer marketed in the U.S.
All girls and boys who are 11 or 12 years old should get the recommended series of HPV vaccines. It can be given as early as 9 years old, up to 26 years old. The vaccine is most effective if it is given before the individual begins any type of sexual activity.
Two or three shots of the HPV vaccine, depending on whether the recipient was older or younger than 15 years old.
If the first shot was given before they were 15 years old, they will need one more shot 6-12 months later, for a total of two doses of the HPV vaccine.
If the first shot was given after they were 15 years old, they will need two more shots. The second shot is given 1-2 months after the first. The third shot is given 6 months after the first shot and at least 12 weeks after the second shot.
- Injection-site reaction (pain, swelling, redness)
- Lump where the shot was given
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
To learn more about the side effects associated with HPV vaccines, please visit this page: HPV Vaccine Side Effects.
The following severe side effects have been reported in people who received Gardasil. It is unknown if they were caused by the vaccine:
- Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
- Allergic reaction
- Arthralgia (joint pain)
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- Autoimmune diseases
- Blood clots
- Celiac disease
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Erythema Multiforme
- Fainting (syncope)
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes)
- Motor neuron disease
- Myalgia (muscle aches)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Neurological complications
- Pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
- Speech problems
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Tonic-clonic limb movements
- Transverse myelitis