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, like chlamydia, so it's still very important to practise safer sex.
How many doses of the vaccine do I need?
The number of doses routinely offered by NHS Scotland changed in September 2022. The number you'll need depends on your age and circumstances.
If you are under 25, you'll be offered 1 dose of the vaccine.
If you are 25 to 45 years of age, you'll be offered 2 doses of the vaccine (given at least 6 months apart).
If you have certain long-term health conditions, like HIV, you may be offered 3 doses of the vaccine.
Your health professional will let you know the right dose for you.
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 vaccine meets the high safety standards required for it to be used in the UK and other European countries.
Once they're in use, the safety of vaccines continues to be monitored by the MHRA.