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Healthy Communities

HPV Vaccine

HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention

What is HPV Vaccine?

HPV vaccine protects against infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause several types of cancer in both men and women.  The vaccine also prevents most genital warts and cervical precancers.  Gardasil 9, which protects against 9 HPV types, is the only HPV vaccine currently in use in the United States. 

What Cancers Does HPV Cause?

HPV can cause oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat), cervical, penile, anal, and vulvar cancers. HPV is estimated to cause nearly 36,500 cases of cancer in men and women every year in the United States. HPV vaccination can prevent 33,700 of these cancers by preventing the infections that cause them.

Who Should Get HPV Vaccine?  When Should They Get It?

All children age 9-12 years, both boys and girls, should get two doses of HPV Vaccine, given 6-12 months apart.

Early protection works best.  That’s why HPV vaccine is recommended earlier rather than later, since it protects children best when given before they ever have contact with the virus.

Teens and young adults should be vaccinated too.  Everyone through age 26 years should get HPV vaccine if they were not fully vaccinated already.

Some adults age 27 through 45 years who were not already vaccinated might choose to get HPV vaccine after speaking with their doctor about their risk for new HPV infections and the possible benefits of vaccination for them.

How Well Do These Vaccines Work?

HPV vaccination works extremely well.

Is the HPV Vaccine Safe?

HPV Vaccine is very safe.  Over 15 years of monitoring have shown that HPV Vaccines are very safe and effective.  Like all vaccines, scientists continue to monitor vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective.

Where Can I Find These Vaccines?

HPV Vaccine is available in many doctor's offices and clinics, especially those that take care of children and young adults.  Many pharmacies also vaccinate children and adults for HPV.  In addition, all of ADH’s Local Health Units (LHUs) give HPV vaccinations to all children and some adults.

How Do I Pay for These Vaccines?

Most health insurance plans cover routine vaccinations like HPV vaccine. The Vaccines For Children (VFC) program also provides vaccines for children 18 years and younger who are uninsured, underinsured, Medicaid-eligible, American Indian, or Alaska Native.  In AR many clinics that care for children, as well as some pharmacies, are VFC providers.  In addition, all of ADH’s Local Health Units (LHUs) are VFC providers.


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Arkansas Department of Health
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