The HPV vaccine is the most effective way to prevent some HPV related cancers.
What vaccine is used?
The GARDASIL 9 vaccine is used in Scotland.
Gardasil 9 helps protect against 9 types of HPV. These are types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58.
Find out more about the Gardasil 9 vaccination
How effective is the vaccine?
The vaccine protects against HPV types 16 and 18, which are the cause of most cervical cancers in the UK (more than 80%). The vaccine also protects against types 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58, which cause an additional 15% of cervical cancers.
The statistics on cancers caused by HPV are different from country to country.
The vaccine also protects against 2 other types of HPV. These cause around 90% of cases of genital warts.
HPV vaccination does not protect against other infections spread during sex, such as chlamydia, and it will not prevent pregnancy, so it's still very important to practise safer sex.
How many doses of the vaccine do I need?
Most people will be offered 1 dose of the vaccine.
In previous years, 2 doses of the vaccine were recommended. Evidence now shows that most people only need 1 dose to give protection.
Why has the dosage changed?
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has reviewed the scientific evidence about the doses of the HPV vaccine. They agree that there's very strong evidence that most young people only need 1 dose of the HPV vaccine.
This means that most young people who've already received 1 dose are now fully vaccinated. They don't require any further doses of the HPV vaccine.
Why are some young people still being offered more than 1 dose?
If your immune system is weakened due to any existing disease or treatment, you may be offered 3 doses of the HPV vaccine. If you have any questions or concerns, speak to the nurse first if you can, or your GP.
How do we know the vaccine is safe?
All medicines (including vaccines) are tested for safety and effectiveness by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The HPV vaccine meets the high safety standards required for it to be used in the UK and other European countries. This vaccine has been given to millions of people worldwide.
Once they're in use, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).