HPV vaccine is an inactivated (not live) vaccine which protects against four major types of HPV.
These include two types that cause about 70% of cervical cancer and two types that cause about 90% of genital warts. HPV vaccine can prevent most genital warts and most cases of cervical cancer.
If you have a child who is at least 9 years old, you may be weighing whether he or she should get vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. Men and women can carry it. HPV sometimes plays a role in other cancers as well, including cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, and throat.
There are two HPV vaccines: Gardasil and Cervarix. Gardasil, which protects against four HPV types (6, 11, 16, and 18), is approved by the FDA for use by females aged 9-26 to help prevent cancer of the cervix,vagina, and vulva; genital warts, and anal cancer. It’s also approved for males aged 9-26 to help prevent genital warts and anal cancer.
Cervarix targets HPV types 16 and 18. It’s approved for females aged 10-25 to help prevent cervical cancer.
Both are relatively new vaccines — the FDA approved Gardasil in 2006 and Cervarix in 2009. And that makes some parents uneasy. Should they be, or are their fears unfounded?