Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that can cause several types of cancer in both men and women. Fortunately, there is a vaccine that has proven effective in the prevention of HPV and HPV-related cancers, but until recently, the recommended schedule for immunization was for children and young adults aged 9 to 26.
However, an HPV vaccine for adults is now available. In October 2018, the FDA approved the use of the Gardasil 9 vaccine for women and men between 27 and 45 years of age. This vaccine prevents certain cancers caused by nine types of HPV.
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. The CDC estimates that 79 million persons are infected. An estimated 14 million new HPV infections occur among people between 15 and 59 years of age, and about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer caused by certain HPV viruses each year. With the approval of the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine for adults, we have the power to drastically reduce these figures.
Based on US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers. Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said, “HPV vaccination prior to becoming infected with the HPV types covered by the vaccine has the potential to prevent more than 90 percent of these cancers, or 31,200 cases every year, from ever developing.”
The safety of the HPV vaccine for adults was evaluated in approximately 13,000 males and females. The most commonly reported adverse reactions were injection site pain, swelling, redness and headaches.
For more information about HPV, visit our HPV resource library.
Coverage for the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine for adults varies, contact your insurance provider to see if you are covered.