Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Update

Cheryl Lau, PharmD Candidate Class of 2021; Hayden Carrion, PharmD Candidate Class of 2021; Michele Pisano, PharmD, BCGP, CDE; Carmela Avena-Woods, BS Pharm, PharmD, BCGP


US Pharmacist. 2020;45(9):17-20. 

In This Article

ACIP Recommendations

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) provides recommendations on the administration of routine vaccines, which includes the appropriate timing, dosage, and contraindications of each vaccine. The first dose of the HPV vaccine, 9vHPV (Gardasil9), is recommended to be started in children aged 11 to 12 years but can be given as early as age 9 years. The second dose of the vaccine is recommended 6 to 12 months after the first dose, for a total of 2 doses. Children who receive their first dose of the HPV vaccine after their 15th birthday or those who are immunocompromised require a three-shot series (at 0, 1–2, 6 months), given over the course of 6 months.[9]

Catch-up vaccinations through age 26 are recommended for both males and females who have not been adequately vaccinated. Adults older than age 26 years may receive the vaccine based on a shared clinical decision with a healthcare provider, weighing benefits and risks, due to the minimal public health benefit of the vaccine in this age group.[10] A three-dose schedule is recommended for those between 27 and 45 years of age. The HPV vaccine is not licensed for use in those over age 45 years. Anyone who is pregnant, has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any ingredients of the HPV vaccine, or has an allergy to yeast should not get the vaccine. Those who are breastfeeding can receive the HPV vaccine[10] (Table 1).