- It is best to get vaccinated against HPV before you start having sex.
- Studies show that the vaccines are almost 100% effective at blocking the two HPV types most commonly found with cervical cancers.
- If you get the vaccine between ages 9 and 14, only two shots are required. The second dose of the vaccine should be given 6-12 months following the first.
- Older teens and young adults ages 15-26 need to get three shots. Once you get the first shot, you need the second shot two months later. You need to get a third shot six months after you get the first shot. You should get all three shots to be fully protected.
- The HPV vaccine is approved for all people up to 45 years old.
- HPV vaccines don’t protect against all types of the virus. Females who receive an HPV vaccine still need regular Pap tests as recommended by their healthcare provider.
- Research is being done to see how well the vaccines might protect against other cancers that HPV can cause (such as those of the penis, anus, and head and neck). Experts are hopeful the vaccines will have value in protecting against these diseases, too.