The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil protects against most cervical cancers, which is what it’s most well-known for, but it also helps prevent against anal, vaginal, throat and mouth cancers. Gardasil also prevents genital warts. The vaccine is recommended for women and men as young as 11 and as old as 26.

What’s more, studies have proven that the vaccine is working, as HPV rates have dropped by more than 60 percent since the vaccine was first introduced in 2006. The vaccine is safe, effective and typically covered under most insurance plans for those in the recommended age range (individuals should contact their insurance providers to determine if Gardasil is covered by their plan).

Who is a good candidate for Gardasil?

Even with the proper protection – a condom — during intercourse, a sexually-active person is not entirely protected against HPV. HPV is contracted through genital to genital contact, and a condom does not cover either person’s entire genital area.

Even though HPV is contracted through intercourse, this doesn’t mean that only those who are sexually active are good candidates for the vaccine. Gardasil should be considered as a means of preventative healthcare so that someone is protected from HPV when they choose to become sexually active.

Are three appointments to get three shots necessary?

The CDC has recently updated their recommendation regarding the number of shots needed for effective HPV prevention. Previously, the vaccine was administered over the course of three appointments during a six-month period. Now, the CDC says that some candidates may only need two shots over a six to 12-month period, but only 11 and 12-year-olds are eligible for fewer shots over a longer time. Those over 12 years of age will likely still need three shots over six months.

If you would like to learn more about the HPV vaccine Gardasil, PGOMG invites you to read: