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Human papillomavirus (HPV-9) vaccine


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Get protected, get immunize​d.

  • Vaccines make your immune system stronger. They build antibodies to help prevent diseases.
  • Immunization is safe. It is much safer to get immunized than to get these diseases.​

What is the HPV-9 vaccine?

The HPV-9 vaccine protects against 9 strains (types) of human papillomavirus. These 9 strains may cause up to:

  • 92% of cervical cancers
  • 75% of anal cancers
  • 57% of penile cancers
  • 72% of vaginal cancers
  • 25% of head and neck cancers
  • 90% of genital warts

What is HPV?


HPV is a virus that causes skin and genital warts. HPV infection will often go away on its own. Some people get a long-term infection, which can lead to cancer of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, mouth, or throat. HPV causes almost all cervical cancers.


Who's most at risk?​

HPV is very common. Anyone can get it, even if they’ve had only 1 sexual partner. Without getting immunized, most people who are sexually active will get an HPV infection at some time.

How does it spread?

HPV spreads by sexual contact or skin-to-skin contact in the genital area. If you are pregnant and have HPV, you can spread it to your baby during vaginal childbirth.


Who should get the HPV-9 vaccine?

Grade 6 students can get the HPV-9 vaccine in school. If you didn’t get the HPV-9 vaccine in Grade 6, you can still get it for free up to and including age 26 years.

If you can’t get this vaccine for free, you may still benefit from the vaccine. Talk to your doctor to find out if it’s a good idea for you. Check with your health insurance provider to see if your plan covers the cost.

How many doses do I need?

If you have a healthy immune system and get your first dose before age 15 years, you need 2 doses, 6 months apart.

You need 3 doses over 6 months if you:

  • get your first dose at age 15 years or older
  • have a weak immune system

How well does the vaccine work?

After you get the recommended number of doses, the protection for the 9 strains of HPV in the vaccine is up to 99%.

HPV-9 vaccine works best in children and teens before they have any sexual contact (such as oral sex or intercourse). Because the vaccine doesn’t protect against all types of cervical cancer, it’s still important to have regular Pap tests once you start having sexual contact (even if you’ve had the vaccine).

Where can I get the HPV-9 vaccine?

Grade 6 students can get the vaccine in school. Grade 9 students who missed getting the vaccine at the usual time can also get it in school.

Parents and guardians will get information about HPV and the vaccine. If you want your child to get the vaccine in school, you must fill out the consent form and return it to the school.

If you can get this vaccine for free, contact the public health office in your area. If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a travel health clinic or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Are there side effects from the HPV-9 vaccine?

There can be side effects from the HPV-9 vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days. Side effects may include:

  • redness, swelling, bruising, itching, or feeling sore where you had the needle
  • a headache
  • feeling dizzy
  • a fever
  • feeling tired
  • body aches
  • feeling sick to your stomach (nausea), stomach pain, or loose stool (diarrhea)
  • a sore throat

It’s important to stay at the clinic for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.

It’s rare to have a serious side effect after a vaccine. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.

How can I manage side effects?

  • To help with soreness and swelling, put a cool, wet cloth over the area where you had the needle.
  • There is medicine to help with a fever or pain. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re not sure what medicine or dose to take. Follow the directions on the package.
  • Children under the age of 18 years should not take aspirin (unless your doctor has told you to take it) because it can cause serious health problems if taken within 6 weeks of a vaccine.
  • Some people with health problems, such as a weak immune system, must call their doctor if they get a fever. If you’ve been told to do this, call your doctor even if you think the fever is from the vaccine.

Who should not get the HPV-9 vaccine?

You may not be able to get this vaccine if you:

  • have an allergy to any part of the vaccine
  • had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it
  • are pregnant

If you’re planning to get pregnant, you should finish all the recommended doses of HPV-9 vaccine before you start trying to get pregnant.

Check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.

You can still get the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever.

I have a fear of needles. How can I prepare for my immunization?

Many adults and children are afraid of needles. You can do many things before, during, and after immunization to be more comfortable. Visit Commitment to Comfort for tips to make immunization a better experience.​

More information about immunization

Current as of: July 4, 2022

Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services