If I Already Had the HPV Vaccine, Do I Need the HPV-9 Vaccine?

Paul A. Offit, MD, talks about the HPV-9 vaccine for those vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) before 2015.


If I already had the HPV vaccine, do I need the HPV-9 vaccine?

Paul Offit: Hi, my name is Paul Offit. I'm talking to you today from the Vaccine Education Center here at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

One question that really gets commonly asked here at the Vaccine Education Center is, “If I've already gotten the HPV vaccine, specifically the Gardasil® 4 vaccine, should I get the new vaccine? The vaccine so-called Gardasil® 9 that has five additional serotypes in it?” Now those five serotypes will cover or prevent about another roughly 5,000 cases of cancer; it will prevent another roughly several hundred deaths from cancer. So, you could argue that that vaccine is clearly better than the existing vaccines.

Well, then should I also get that vaccine — the Gardasil 9 vaccines — if I've already gotten Gardasil 4? Well the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, doesn't recommend that one do that.

But I think, frankly, it's perfectly reasonable to do that. I think one could reasonably give Gardasil 9 as a two-dose series where the first dose … the second dose is at least six months after the first dose to prevent or protect against those other five serotypes. It's just not the current recommendation, but, frankly, it makes sense. One could argue that if only Gardasil 5 came out, a 5 that contained those five new serotypes that are in Gardasil 9 but not in Gardasil 4, would that be a reasonable vaccine? And again, I think the answer to that question is, yes. So, I think that's why one could reasonably make that choice.

Related Centers and Programs: Vaccine Education Center