HPV (Human papillomavirus)

Knowledge is power … HPV vaccine protects against some types of cancer.

HPV is short for human papillomavirus. Every year in the US, 27,000 people are diagnosed with cancer caused by HPV. Gardasil®, an HPV vaccine, protects against HPV types that most commonly cause these cancers: anal, cervical, head and neck, vulvar, penile and vaginal.

All boys and girls should receive the HPV vaccine series starting at age 11, but may be offered as early as age 9. Children who are fully vaccinated at an early age have a greater immune response to the vaccine, resulting in better protection for your child throughout their adult life.

The series of two injections should be completed by age 15 or three injections if given after age 15. Do not leave your doctor’s office without scheduling all injections.

Ask a Mercyhealth pediatrician about HPV vaccination today! If you need a pediatrician, click here.

The facts

  • HPV affects both males and females
  • About 14 million new HPV infections occur each year
  • Roughly half of new HPV infections occur in 15-24 year olds
  • Vaccination at an early age (11-13) improves protection as an adult
  • 79 million Americans, most in their late teens and early 20s, are infected with HPV
  • HPV can cause serious diseases, like cancers, in adult men and women
  • HPV often has no signs or symptoms. Individuals can get the virus without knowing it and pass it on.

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