HPV vaccination is cancer prevention.
An infection called human papillomavirus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer. There is no cure for HPV infections, but a vaccine is available that has been proven effective in protecting against cancers caused by human papillomavirus. The HPV vaccine offers the best protection to children and teens, provided that they receive the recommended dosage in order to develop an immune reaction. Talk with your health care provider about the HPV vaccine — for yourself or your children — to protect against the threat of HPV-related cancers in the future.
Who should receive the vaccine and how often:
- Children ages 11 and 12 should get two shots of HPV vaccine six to 12 months apart. Adolescents who receive their two shots less than five months apart will require a third dose of HPV vaccine.
- If your teen hasn’t yet gotten the vaccine, talk with your primary care provider about getting it as soon as possible. If your child is older than 14 years, three shots will need to be given over six months.
Help is available to pay for the HPV vaccine:
- The Immunization Program provides the vaccine for Medicaid-eligible kids up to age 19, under the Vaccines for Children Program, and for adults with no insurance under the Section 317 Program. The Public Health Clinics also provide the vaccine at no cost.
- If you don’t have insurance or you can’t afford the HPV vaccine, there is a program that could pay for the visit to get the vaccine.