Search Main menu

When should I have the vaccine?

Cancer Council recommends the vaccine is given to people aged 12–13 years. 

The vaccine works best if you have it before you might be exposed to HPV, so before you start having sexual contact with another person.  

Research also shows younger people produce more antibodies.

The vaccine and sex 

Having sex may be some way off for you, but having the vaccine now means you will be protected in the future, when you may be thinking about having sex.

However if you've already had sex or sexual contact with another person, you should still consider having the HPV vaccine as it could still give you some protection against HPV.

The HPV vaccine won't protect you from other sexually transmitted infections or prevent pregnancy. 

Condoms offer some but not complete protection from HPV because they don't cover all of the genital skin – they do protect you from other sexually transmitted diseases and getting pregnant though.

Bookmark and Share
Change text size : A -   A +  

Having sex may be some way off for you, but having the vaccine now means you will be protected in the future, when you may be thinking about having sex.

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.