HPV and Vaccination
On this page:
- What is HPV?
- What types of HPV vaccine are available and what are the benefits?
- How is HPV vaccine given?
- How to get HPV vaccination at UHS
- HPV vaccination through Washtenaw County Health Department
- Who should get vaccinated?
- Who should not get HPV vaccine
- Vaccinated women still need cervical cancer screening (Pap smears)
- For more information
What is HPV? HPV stands for human papilloma virus (HPV). Genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus in the US. More than half of sexually active people in the US have HPV at some time during their lives. It is spread through direct sexual contact.
HPV is important mainly because it can cause cervical cancer in women. Globally, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in women. The virus can also cause genital warts in both men and women.
- Gardasil prevents four major types of HPV, including two types that cause about 70% of cervical cancer, plus two types that cause about 90% of genital warts.
- Cervarix prevents the 2 major types of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer. It does not protect against the types of HPV that cause genital warts. (In general, Gardasil is recommended because it offers greater protection.)
Please note that if a person is already infected with a type of HPV, vaccination will not prevent disease from that type.
How is HPV vaccine given? HPV vaccine is given as a 3-dose series. The second dose is given 2 months after the first dose, and the third dose is given 6 months after the first dose.
To receive your second or third HPV shot at UHS:
- If you got your first shot at UHS, bring your immunization card with you, or allow extra time so we can order your medical record.
- If you got your first shot outside UHS, request the record of your HPV previous shot(s) be faxed to UHS at 734-763-7352. Request that your name and date of previous shot(s) be included.
Did you start the Cervarix series elsewhere? UHS has a limited supply of Cervarix, and you can continue here at UHS. You may choose to continue with either Cervarix or Gardasil, however if you continue with Gardasil and don't receive 3 doses of it, your immunity against two HPV strains that cause genital warts may be incomplete. (However, your immunity against two strains that cause cervical cancer will be complete.)
Are you less than 18 years old? If so, you will need consent from a parent or guardian for vaccination. You can use the UHS Authorization for Consent to Treatment of a Minor form (PDF format).
What is the cost at UHS? Cost is $175 per dose of Gardasil or Cervarix, subject to change.
Does insurance cover HPV vaccination? UHS will attempt to bill most insurances for HPV vaccine. Please check with your insurance company to verify coverage.
The UM Aetna health insurance plans for 2012-13 (Domestic and International Student and Scholar Health Insurance Plan) cover 100% of cost for this vaccine series through age 26.
Premier Care and GradCare cover this vaccine series in full as long as the series is started before the covered person's 27th birthday and the final vaccine is administered before the person reaches 27 years, 6 months old.
HPV vaccination through Washtenaw County Health Department: Washtenaw County Health Department provides low-cost HPV vaccination to qualified, underinsured individuals.
- Gardasil vaccine is recommended for females 11-26 years old and available for males ages 9-26.
- Cervarix vaccine is recommended for females only, ages 9-26.
- Children should get the vaccine through their pediatrician.
- It is preferable to receive the vaccine before beginning sexual activity. However, vaccination is still recommended through age 26 for those who are already sexually active.
- Anyone with life-threatening allergic reaction to yeast or any other component of HPV vaccine, or to a previous dose of HPV vaccine. Tell your health care provider if you have severe allergies.
- Pregnant women should not get the vaccine. However, receiving HPV vaccine when pregnant is not a reason to consider terminating a pregnancy.
- People with moderate or severe illness should wait until they recover. People who are mildly ill can still get the vaccine.
Minor problems may occur (and will likely go away on their own) including:
- Pain, redness, itching or swelling at injection site (arm)
- Mild to moderate fever (100-102 degrees F)
Vaccinated women still need cervical cancer screening (Pap smears) because the vaccine does not protect against all HPV types that cause cervical cancer. See also Pap Smears and HPV.