HPV Vaccination

In June 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first HPV vaccine called Gardasil®. The drug, developed by Merck & Co. Inc., is a recombinant vaccine.

This means that the vaccine does not contain the live virus, so there is no chance that patients who receive the vaccine can become infected with HPV. The vaccine is expected to prevent most cases of cervical cancer due to HPV types included in
the vaccine.

However, patients will not be protected if they have been infected with the HPV type(s) prior to vaccination and the drug does not protect against less common types of HPV.

The vaccine is given as three injections over the course of six months.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends routine vaccination for females who are 11 and 12 years old, as well as females ages 13 to 26 if they have not already received the vaccine.

According to researchers, the vaccine is most effective if it is given to females before they are sexually active.

Possible side effects may include pain or swelling at the injection site, mild fever, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, or muscle pain.

Selected References

American Social Health Association. Accessed April 28, 2009.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Accessed April 28, 2009.
Cline JS. Sexually transmitted diseases: will this problem ever go away? N C Med J. 2006 Sep-Oct;67(5):353-8.
Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine. Copyright © 2009. Accessed April 28, 2009.
No authors listed. Human papillomavirus vaccine: new drug. Cervical cancer prevention: high hopes. Prescrire Int. 2007 Jun;16(89):91-4.
Rupp RE, Stanberry LR, Rosenthal SL. Vaccines for sexually transmitted infections. Pediatr Ann. 2005 Oct;34(10):818-20, 822-4.
Siddiqui MA, Perry CM. Human papillomavirus quadrivalent (types 6, 11, 16, 18) recombinant vaccine (Gardasil). Drugs. 2006;66(9):1263-71; discussion 1272-3.
Weaver BA. Epidemiology and natural history of genital human papillomavirus infection. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2006 Mar;106(3 Suppl 1):S2-8.