Human Papillomavirus (HPV)Stay Well
What is HPV?
HPV is the abbreviation for Human Papillomavirus. There are about 100 types of HPV viruses and some of these types cause cancer. HPV is so common that most adults become infected at some point in their lives. In fact, about 14 million people, including teens, become infected each year. HPV infection can cause cancer in both men and women. HPV is a very common virus that spreads between people when they have sexual contact with another person.
What is the HPV vaccine?
The HPV vaccine is cancer prevention for your child. It is the only vaccine available to prevent six types of gender-specific cancer. The vaccine is given as a shot, in two doses, six months apart.
Who should get the vaccine?
The vaccine is recommended for both boys and girls between the ages of 11 and 12 by the
American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control or CDC and the Utah
Department of Health’s Cancer Control Program. The vaccine is recommended for preteens—specifically between the ages of 11 and 12—so that they are protected before ever being exposed to HPV. In addition, an adolescent’s immune system is more responsive in the preteen years. If your children are older than 11 or 12 they should still be vaccinated. You can get the vaccine up to age 26. Both boys and girls should be vaccinated to protect them from gender-specific cancers.
Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. The FDA and the CDC have given the HPV vaccine an excellent safety record. Many studies have been conducted over the past 10 years and there is no evidence that the HPV vaccine causes reproductive problems. The FDA has continually monitored the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine since it was approved in 2006. Nearly 90 million doses of HPV vaccines have been given between June 2006 and March 2016.
To find a clinic closest to you, please call the Immunization hotline at 1-800-275-0659.