Gardasil is the only vaccine that immunizes against 4 types of human papillomavirus (HPV): 2 types that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases (strains 16 & 18), and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases (strains 2 & 4). Gardasil is administered in 3 injections over a 6-month period and is recommended for girls and young women ages 9 to 26. It is not recommended for women over age 26 because it is likely most women by that age have already been exposed to HPV.
Can I get the Gardasil vaccine if I have already been diagnosed with one type of HPV (either abnormal pap or genital warts)?
You are not immune to getting cervical cancer, but 4 strains of the STD (HPV) that causes 70% of cervical cancer. Gardasil may not fully protect everyone, and does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important to continue routine cervical cancer screenings. Gardasil will not protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. Gardasil also does not treat cancer or genital warts.
- Among women who have not been previously infected with the specific HPV strain, Gardasil is over 95% effective in preventing cervical precancers caused by those strains of HPV that Gardasil immunizes against.
- Gardasil has been nearly 100% effective in preventing vulvar and vaginal precancers, and genital warts in women caused by the strains of HPV that Gardasil immunizes against.
The side effects include pain, swelling, itching, bruising, and redness at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and fainting. Fainting can happen after getting Gardasil. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your clinician may ask to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after they get Gardasil. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff. This may require evaluation or treatment by your clinician.Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients of Gardasil, including those severely allergic to yeast, should not receive the vaccine. Gardasil is not for women who are pregnant.