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Facts about Gardisil


Gardasil is a vaccine that prevents the types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. Gardasil is approved for females and males between 9 and 45 years of age. It is recommended to be given at age 11-12 years, but it can be given earlier or later. (The benefit when given to individuals aged 27 to 45 years is less significant, because most people in this age group have already been exposed to HPV.)

Gardasil has been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as safe and effective. Studies have found no serious side effects. The most common side effect is soreness in the arm (where the shot is given). There have been some reports of fainting in teens after they received the vaccine, so it is recommended that patients wait in their doctor’s office for 15 minutes after getting the vaccine.​

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is a common virus that is most often passed on through oral and/or genital sexual contact. Most sexually active people will get HPV at some time in their lives and will never even know it. It is most common in people in their late teens and early 20s. Most HPV types cause no symptoms and in 9 out of 10 cases, HPV goes away on its own within two years without health problems. Some types can cause cervical cancer and other less common genital cancers in women, penile cancer in men and head and neck cancers. Other types of HPV can cause genital warts.

HPV and Cervical Cancer

Every year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and almost 4,000 women die from this disease in the U.S. Over 90% of the cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV.

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