FAQs on HPV Vaccination

This project is created by the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable, a professional working group of public health organizations from across the country. This group’s purpose is to increase awareness of HPV vaccination and dispel myths about the vaccine. As a school nurse, this section has resources to prepare you for any questions you may get about the vaccine.

For the first time, parents and students can work together, making a difference, actually closing the door on cancer!

  1. HPV vaccination is recommended for BOTH boys and girls at ages 11 or 12 years, but can be started as early as age 9.
  2. The HPV vaccine series should be completed before the 13th birthday to be most effective.
  3. HPV vaccines have been on the market for over 10 years and there have been over 200 million doses of HPV administered worldwide.
  4. HPV is extremely common and almost everyone will be infected in his or her lifetime. There is no way to know if an infection will lead to cancer.
  5. Every year, over 30,700 women and men are affected by a cancer caused by HPV— that is a new case every 20 minutes.
  6. Every year in the United States, over 2 million women have invasive testing and biopsies to look for precancer or cancer of the cervix caused by HPV infection. HPV vaccination of preteens can slash those numbers dramatically.
  7. Each HPV vaccine—Gardasil® 9, Gardasil®, and Cervarix®—went through years of extensive safety testing before they were licensed by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are continually monitored for safety.
  8. Like any vaccine or medicine, HPV vaccines can cause side effects. The most common side effects are mild, usually pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given, as well as dizziness, fainting, nausea, and headache. Adolescents with a severe allergy to yeast should not receive Gardasil® 9, or Gardasil®.
  9. Some adolescents faint from getting shots. Patients should remain seated for 15 minutes after receiving any shot to prevent injury from falls that could occur from fainting.
  10. Too few boys and girls in the United States get the HPV vaccine and thus miss the protection it could provide. When the HPV vaccine series is completed, it can prevent cancer – literally.

SOURCE: http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/index.html


Funding for this guide was made possible (in part) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement number 1H23IP000931-01. The content in this toolkit does not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.