Vaccine for HPV
There are currently two vaccines used to prevent infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV):
- Gardasil® (Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus [Types 6, 11, 16, and 18] Recombinant Vaccine)
- Cervarix® (Human Papillomavirus Bivalent [Types 16 and 18] Vaccine, Recombinant).
Gardasil is approved to prevent cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, vaginal cancer, genital warts, and various precancerous genital lesions caused by certain types of HPV in girls and women ages 9 through 26. It is also approved to prevent genital warts in boys and men in the same age group. Recently, Gardasil was also approved to prevent anal cancer and precancerous anal lesions in males and females age 9 to 26 years.
Cervarix is approved for preventing cervical cancer and precancerous cervical lesions in girls and women 9 through 25 years of age.
The HPV vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies to fight off the HPV virus. It is given as a series of three shots over a six-month time period. Potential side effects include reactions at the injection site, fever, and nausea.
(For more details on Gardasil and Cervarix, click HPV Vaccine.)