Three vaccines are approved by the FDA to prevent HPV infection: Gardasil, Gardasil 9, and Cervarix.All three vaccines prevent infections with HPV types 16 and 18, two high-risk HPVs that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and an even higher percentage of some of the other HPV-associated cancers (9, 10).FDA has information for patients about Gardasil 9 available at Blood Vaccines/Vaccines/Approved Products/UCM426460
Because none of the currently available HPV vaccines protects against all HPV infections that cause cancer, it is important for vaccinated women to continue to undergo cervical cancer screening.
There could be some future changes in recommendations for vaccinated women.
In addition to providing protection against the HPV types included in these vaccines, the vaccines have been found to provide partial protection against a few additional HPV types that can cause cancer, a phenomenon called cross-protection.
The vaccines do not prevent other sexually transmitted diseases, nor do they treat existing HPV infections or HPV-caused disease.
They can be spread by vaginal, anal, and oral sex (1).
Other HPV types are responsible for non-genital warts, which are not sexually transmitted.
All three vaccines are given through a series of three injections into muscle tissue over a 6-month period.
In October 2016, the FDA approved a 2-dose schedule for boys and girls initiating vaccination with Gardasil 9 at ages 9 to 14 years (the second dose is to be administered 6–12 months after the first).
The FDA has approved Gardasil and Gardasil 9 for use in females ages 9 through 26 for the prevention of HPV-caused cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancers; precancerous cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal lesions; and genital warts.