11 Facts about the HPV Vaccine


HPV vaccine is relatively new…

1. The Quadrivalent HPV (HPV4) vaccine (Gardasil, Merck) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006. Approved for females and males through 26 years of age. It is supplied in single-dose vials and syringes.

2. The Bivalent HPV (HPV2) vaccine (Cervarix, GlaxoSmith Kline) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2009. Approved for females 10 through 25 years of age. HPV2 is not approved for males. It is available in vials and two types of pre-filled syringes.

3. Both HPV vaccines are highly immunogenic. For both vaccines more than 99% of recipients develop an antibody response to HPV types included in the respective vaccines one month after completing the three-dose series.

4. There is no evidence of efficacy against disease caused by vaccine types with which participants were infected at the time of vaccination.

5. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine vaccination of females and males 11 or 12 years old.

6. Catch-up vaccination recommended for females 13 through 26 years old and for males 13 through 21 years old. Makes aged 22 through 26 years may be vaccinated.

7. Routine schedule is 0, 2, 6 months. The Third dose should follow the first dose by at least 24 weeks. An accelerated schedule using minimum intervals is not recommended. Series does not need to be restarted if the schedule is interrupted.

8. HPV Vaccine Special Situations

  • Equivocal or abnormal Pap test
  • Positive HPV DNA test
  • Genital warts
  • Immunosuppression
  • Breastfeeding

9. Contraindications and Precautions

  • Contraindication: Severe allergic reaction to a vaccine component or following a prior dose.
  • Precaution: Moderate or severe acute illnesses (defer until symptoms improve).

10. Adverse Reactions

  • Local Reactions (pain, swelling) 20% ~ 90%.
  • Fever 10% ~ 13%.

11. Storage and handling

  • Store at 35° F – 46° F (2° C – 8° C).
  • Protect from light.
  • Administer immediately after removing from refrigeration.
  • Do not expose to freezing temperature.

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