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Paul A. Offit, MD, discusses the use of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in those older than 13 years of age and in young adults.
Paul Offit: Hi, my name is Paul Offit. I'm talking to you today from the Vaccine Education Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
As most of you probably know, the HPV, or human papillomavirus vaccine, is recommended for adolescence, meaning all boys and girls between 11 and 13 years of age. But one question we often get here at the center is, “Is it OK to give the vaccine after that, say beyond 13 years of age or even as a young adult?”
Well, the fact is that the vaccine is actually licensed from 9 to 26 years of age, so certainly one can legally receive that vaccine up to 26 years of age, and, frankly, one would benefit. So, if you haven't gotten the vaccine between 11 and 13 years of age, it's very unlikely that you would have been infected with all of the serotypes contained in the HPV vaccines.
Right now there are two important HPV vaccines, one is called Gardasil® 4, the other Gardasil® 9. I think for the Gardasil 4 vaccine it's unlikely you would have been infected with all four serotypes in that vaccine; same for Gardasil 9, it's unlikely you would have been infected with all nine serotypes in that vaccine. So, therefore, it is a value to get those vaccines if you haven't received them beyond 13 years of age.
Related Centers and Programs:
Vaccine Education Center