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Children's Vaccines Health Center

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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine: What You Need to Know



However, if a girl or woman is already infected with a type of HPV, the vaccine will not prevent disease from that type.

Catch-Up Vaccination

  • The vaccine is also recommended for girls and women 13 through 26 years of age who did not receive it when they were younger.

HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series:

1st Dose:       Now

2nd Dose:      2 months after Dose 1

3rd Dose:       6 months after Dose 1

Additional (booster) doses are not recommended.

HPV vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

4. Some girls or women should not get HPV vaccine or should wait.

  • Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to yeast, to any other component of HPV vaccine, or to a previous dose of HPV vaccine should not get the vaccine. Tell your doctor if the person getting the vaccine has any severe allergies. 
  • Pregnant women should not get the vaccine. The vaccine appears to be safe for both the mother and the unborn baby, but it is still being studied. Receiving HPV vaccine when pregnant is not a reason to consider terminating the pregnancy.  Women who are breast feeding may safely get the vaccine.

Any woman who learns that she was pregnant when she got HPV vaccine is encouraged to call the HPV vaccine in pregnancy registry at 800-986-8999.

Information from this registry will help us learn how pregnant women respond to the vaccine.

  • People who are mildly ill when the shot is scheduled can still get HPV vaccine. People with moderate or severe illnesses should wait until they recover.

5. What are the risks from HPV vaccine?

HPV vaccine does not appear to cause any serious side effects.

However, a vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. The risk of any vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

Several mild problems may occur with HPV vaccine:

  • Pain at the injection site (about eight people in 10) 
  • Redness or swelling at the injection site (about one person in four) 
  • Mild fever (100 F) (about one person in 10) 
  • Itching at the injection site (about one person in 30) 
  • Moderate fever (102 F) (about one person in 65)
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