HPV is a virus that can cause six different types of cancer. It is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives. The virus is easily spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. There are many different types of HPV. Some types can cause health problems including genital warts and cancers. The HPV vaccine prevents most common health problems associated with the virus.
When should my child receive the HPV vaccine?
The HPV vaccine should be given to all adolescents at 11-12 years, when it is most effective. If given before age 15, two shots are recommended 2-6 months apart. If the series is started after age 15, three shots are needed for full protection. The HPV vaccine may be given anytime from age 9-26 years.
Is the HPV vaccine safe and effective?
The HPV vaccine has been tested in tens of thousands of people in the United States and many other countries. The most common safety concern reported is a brief fainting spell, which is more common among adolescents following any vaccination. Serious side effects, like severe allergic reactions are rare.
Where can I find more information about the HPV vaccine?
Get more information from the CDC: HPV Questions and Answers