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HPV is short for human papillomavirus, a common virus. In the United States each year, thousands of women and men are affected by HPV-related cancers.

This is why HPV vaccination is recommended for preteen girls and boys at age 11 or 12 – before they are likely to be infected with the virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the immune response to the HPV vaccine is better in preteens, and this could mean better protection for your child. HPV vaccine is also recommended for girls and boys ages 13 through 26 years who haven’t yet been vaccinated.

Two vaccines are available to prevent the HPV types that cause cancers. Both are given in a series of two shots over six months. All two doses are essential for optimal protection. The HPV vaccine helps protect against four strains of the human papillomavirus. Scientific studies continue to show that HPV vaccines are safe.

Your child’s pediatrician can advise you on approved immunizations to help protect your preteen or teen against HPV as well as other communicable diseases.

For more information, refer to the HPV Vaccine infographic.

See related:
• Doc Talk blog post: Preteen HPV Vaccination Gives Early Protection Against Later Cancers