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The HPV Vaccine for Teens and Preteens

Which Vaccine Should My Child Receive?

Both vaccines are very effective at preventing infections caused by the HPV types they protect against. Only one of the vaccines is approved for use in males. So, if your child is a boy, the choice is easy. For girls, either vaccine will protect against cervical cancer, so you might make your decision based on other things, such as the cost or which one your healthcare provider has on hand.
 
You should talk to your child’s healthcare provider about which vaccine is best for your child. It’s recommended that you stick with the same vaccine for all three doses, if possible. The following table lists some common comparisons of the two vaccines to help you in making a choice.
 
  
Cervarix
Gardasil
Uses
Approved to help prevent:
 
  • Cervical cancers
  • Precancerous cervical lesions.
Approved to help prevent:
 
  • Cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers in females
  • Anal cancer in males and females
  • Genital warts in males and females
  • Various precancerous lesions.
Gender and age
Approved for use in females ages 9 through 25 years old.
Approved for use in males and females ages 9 through 26 years old.
Dosing
Given as a series of three injections over six months:
 
  • First injection at any time
  • Second injection one month after the first
  • Third injection six months after the first.
Given as a series of three injections over six months:
 
  • First injection at any time
  • Second injection two months after the first
  • Third injection six months after the first.
Administration
Usually given as an injection into a muscle (intramuscular, or IM, injection) in the upper arm.
Usually given as an IM injection in the upper arm or upper thigh. 
Common side effects
  • Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Headache.
 
(See Cervarix Side Effects for more information about these and other possible reactions.)
  • Pain, swelling, and redness at the injection site
  • Fever
  • Headache.
 
(See Gardasil Side Effects for more information about these and other possible reactions.)
Manufacturer
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
Merck & Co., Inc.
 
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Vaccine for HPV

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