We’ve known for a while that the HPV vaccine can protect against certain common kinds of human papillomavirus (HPV), which in turn means protection against genital warts and certain kinds of cancer. HPV is incredibly common, so the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all young people in the U.S. get vaccinated. For a long time, experts thought three shots were needed to fully protect against the virus, but new research has shown that for younger teens, two shots will do the trick.
That’s good news for anyone who doesn’t have health insurance, or just for anyone with a busy life that makes repeated trips to a health care provider a challenge. Another piece of good news: while the brands of HPV vaccine have multiplied, the CDC says they all offer the same protection against the most common cancer-causing HPV strains.
Does this mean I don’t have to get my third shot?
Unfortunately, this new recommendation only applies to preteens and young teens (9-14 years old). It doesn’t mean that two shots won’t be enough for folks 15 and up, it just means that we don’t have the hard science yet. While we’re waiting for science to catch up, health care providers will still recommend that anyone who starts the vaccine a bit later (15-26 years old) get all three doses. For more information about who can get these shots when, check out the CDC’s extensive HPV info.
read our commenting policy »
We trust that sexy brain of yours to post with good intentions. And we promise to respect your perspective, thoughts, insight, advice, humor, cheeky anecdotes, and tips. We’ll even indulge a healthy rant or two. But we must ask that you cite your source if you want to challenge any scientific or technical information on Bedsider. And please note: We will not tolerate abusive comments, racism, personal attacks, or bullying. That’s why we take our time to read every comment before it is posted. (That’s also why there’s some lag time before your comment shows up.) We greatly appreciate your presence here and welcome your participation 24/7/365. Just remember to be respectful and you’ll be good to go.
Oh! One more thing: We do our best to answer questions in a timely manner, but we can’t guarantee an immediate reply. (And we don’t answer questions that are already answered in the article you’re commenting on.) If you ask a question and need a response right now, we partner with San Francisco Sex Information (SFSI) to give you free, accurate, confidential info on sex and reproductive health. Their phone number is 415-989-SFSI (7374) and here are their hours. And if you have an urgent medical question, please contact your doctor or a local health center. We’re here to help you stay informed, but only a medical professional can advise you on personal health concerns.