The human papillomavirus vaccine is important because it protects against cancers caused by HPV infection. HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that can cause anal, cervical, back of the throat (oropharynx), vaginal and vulvar cancers, as well as genital warts.
Who should get vaccinated?
Though it’s recommended to get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12, people of all genders can get HPV through age 45. The vaccine is given in three shots. The second shot is given one to two months after the first shot, and the third shot is given six months after the first shot. Click here to learn more about the vaccine.
Is it safe?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine has been monitored and researched for more than 12 years, and all findings show that it is safe and effective. As with all other vaccines, it is being monitored continually to ensure it is safe and effective.
Are there side effects?
Like all vaccines or medicine, there are possible side effects. They include:
- Pain, redness, or swelling in the arm where the shot was given
- Dizziness or fainting (fainting after any vaccine, including the HPV vaccine, is more common among adolescents)
- The benefits of HPV vaccination far outweigh the risk of potential side effects
What does it cost?
The vaccine is not covered by student fees and has a cost. The amount that you will owe depends on the coverage rate in your private insurance plan. For questions, we recommend you call your insurance company. If you do not have insurance, you can pay out of pocket at a discounted rate or apply for the Financial Assistance Program.