There are currently two vaccines which protect against HPV infection. These are called Gardasil and Cervarix. Cervarix is only for women. 

  • Gardasil9 is designed to protect against nine different types of HPV.
    • HPV types 12, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 that cause cervical cancer
    • HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, 58 that cause vulvar and vaginal cancer
    • HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 that cause anal cancer
    • HPV types 6 and 11 that cause genital warts
    • HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 that cause abnormal and precancerous anal lesions
    • HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 that cause abnormal and precancerous cervical, vaginal, and vulvar lesions
  • Cervarix is designed to protect against HPV types 16 and 18. It also helps protect females between that ages of 10 and 25 against precancerous conditions and cancers of the cervix.

Both vaccines are licensed in Canada.

The HPV vaccine works best if given before a person comes into contact with HPV, as the virus is transmitted through skin to skin sexual contact below the waistline even without penetration with fingers, mouths or other body parts, also condoms do not fully protect people from giving/getting this virus because the condom only covers the length of the penis and there are still other parts below the waist that will have direct skin to skin contact. To be clear, a person comes into contact with this virus when using their mouth, hands, or fingers below the waistline of a partner. As previously mentioned, this also includes putting a penis or an object in a vagina or a butt, and rubbing against each other with skin to skin contact below the waistline even without any penetration. 

In practical terms, the easiest and most effective way to reach everybody is for girls and boys to be vaccinated before they are sexually active.  In Canada, the vaccination programs for HPV are implemented for girls and boys in schools between grades 5 and 8 depending on the province

Vaccines are given by injection into the muscle, usually the upper arm. Two separate doses are needed. The second dose should be given anytime between six to 12 months after the first, but it can be given up to 24 months after.

There is some evidence that the HPV vaccines provide cross protection for other types of HPV which may mean that it has a higher protection level than first thought [1] [2] [3]. Research indicates that the HPV vaccine could prevent two thirds of cervical cancers in women aged below 30 by 2025 but only if uptake of the HPV vaccination is at 80% [4].


  1. Wheeler C. et al., 2009. The Impact of Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV; Types 6, 11, 16, and 18) L1 Virus-Like Particle Vaccine on Infection and Disease Due to Oncogenic Nonvaccine HPV Types in Sexually Active Women Aged 16-26 Years. J Infect Dis, 199(7), 936-44.
  2. Szarewski A. 2008. HPV vaccines: peering through the fog. Journal of Family planning and Reproductive Health Care 34(4), 207-209.
  3. Malagon T. et al., 2012. Cross-proective efficacy of two human papillomvirus vaccines: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Infectious Diseases 12, 781-789.
  4. Cuzick J, Castanon A, and Sasieni P. 2010. Predicted impact of vaccination against human papillomavirus 16/18 on cancer incidence and cervical abnormalities in women aged 20–29 in the UK. British Journal of Cancer 102, 933-939.

"The Vaccines ." Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. N.p., 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.