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The HPV vaccine

A vaccine called Gardasil has been developed that protects against the two high-risk HPV types (types 16 and 18), which cause 70% of cervical cancers in women and 90% of all HPV-related cancers in men. It also protects against two low-risk HPV types (types 6 and 11), which cause 90% of genital warts.  

Australia's Professor Ian Frazer and his team at the University of Queensland discovered how to make the vaccine particles, which form the basis of the HPV vaccine.

Gardasil is used in the school-based National HPV Vaccination Program.

Another vaccine called Cervarix is available, which protects against the same two high-risk HPV types (types 16 and 18). It does not protect against low-risk HPV types which cause genital warts. Some doctors may recommend this vaccine rather than Gardasil.

Over 205 million doses of the Gardasil vaccine have been distributed worldwide as of 31 December 2015.

For further information about the 2 vaccines available in Australia that provide protection against HPV infections, refer to the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Gardasil 9 – available for 12 and 13 year olds from 2018

The Australian Government has announced that the new HPV vaccine Gardasil 9 will be added to the National Immunisation Program from 2018.

The vaccine will be offered to 12 and 13 year old boys and girls in school and will replace the current vaccine. It will be administered in two doses (instead of three) over six months.

Gardasil 9 will provide fully vaccinated females with protection against 90 per cent of cervical cancers by protecting them against all the HPV strains in the current quadrivalent vaccine, as well as the five next most common HPV types found associated with cervical cancer (types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58).

It will also continue to provide males and females with protection against less common HPV-related cancers and genital warts.

It is important that anyone who has commenced the vaccination program in 2017 continues to receive all three vaccination doses. The current vaccination continues to provide great protection, provided all three doses are administered.

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The vaccine protects against the two high-risk HPV types (types 16 and 18) which cause 70% of cervical cancers in women and 90% of all HPV-related cancers in men.

Design and partial content reproduced with the kind permission of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

The HPV vaccine is a prescription medicine. Medicines have benefits and risks. After reading this website, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of this vaccine and to check eligibility.

Females who have had the HPV vaccine still need regular Pap tests.