In 2014, the FDA initially approved Gardasil 9 for use in females and males ages 9 through 26.
In October 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the approved use of the Gardasil 9 vaccine to now include women and men 27 through 45 years of age.
In a study in approximately 3,200 women ages 27 through 45, followed for an average of 3.5 years, Gardasil was 88 percent effective in the prevention of:
- genital warts
- vulvar and vaginal precancerous lesions
- cervical precancerous lesions
- cervical cancer related to HPV types covered by the vaccine
Recognizing the importance of this new recommendation, Bloom Ob/Gyn now offers Gardasil 9 to our unvaccinated patients in this older age group. If you have not yet been vaccinated against HPV, speak with one of our provider’s to decide if Gardasil 9 is the right choice for you!
Why get vaccinated?
HPV vaccine prevents infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types that are associated with many cancers, including:
- cervical cancer in females,
- vaginal and vulvar cancers in females,
- anal cancer in females and males,
- throat cancer in females and males, and
- penile cancer in males.
In addition, HPV vaccine prevents infection with HPV types that cause genital warts in both females and males.
In the U.S., about 12,000 women get cervical cancer every year, and about 4,000 women die from it. HPV vaccine can prevent most of these cases of cervical cancer.
Vaccination is not a substitute for cervical cancer screening. This vaccine does not protect against all HPV types that can cause cervical cancer and women should still get regular Pap tests.
HPV infection usually comes from sexual contact, and most people will become infected at some point in their life. About 14 million Americans, including teens, get infected every year. Most infections will go away on their own and not cause serious problems. But thousands of women and men get cancer and other diseases from HPV.
Some people should not get this vaccine
- Anyone who has had a severe (life-threatening) allergic reaction to a dose of HPV vaccine should not get another dose.
- Anyone who has a severe (life threatening) allergy to any component of HPV vaccine should not get the vaccine.
Tell your doctor if you have any severe allergies that you know of, including a severe allergy to yeast.
- HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.
Risks of a vaccine reaction
With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of side effects. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible.
Most people who get HPV vaccine do not have any serious problems with it
Mild or moderate problems following HPV vaccine:
- Reactions in the arm where the shot was given:
- Soreness (about 9 people in 10)
- Redness or swelling (about 1 person in 3)
- Mild (100°F) (about 1 person in 10)
- Moderate (102°F) (about 1 person in 65)
- Other problems:
- Headache (about 1 person in 3)
Problems that could happen after any injected vaccine:
- People sometimes faint after a medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell your doctor if you feel dizzy, or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
- Some people get severe pain in the shoulder and have difficulty moving the arm where a shot was given. This happens very rarely.
- Any medication can cause a severe allergic reaction. Such reactions from a vaccine are very rare, estimated at about 1 in a million doses, and would happen within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
What if there is a serious reaction?
What should I look for?
Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of a severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or unusual behavior.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would usually start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
What should I do?
If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that can’t wait, call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.
How can I learn more?
- Ask your health care provider at Bloom Ob/Gyn. He or she can give you the vaccine package insert or suggest other sources of information.
- Visit the CDC’s website