Here are some answers to questions we’ve heard from parents just like you. While we hope the answers to these questions will be helpful, it’s important to talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional for more information about HPV and GARDASIL 9. In addition, you can read the Patient Information or the Prescribing Information for GARDASIL 9.

WHAT IS THE CDC-RECOMMENDED AGE FOR HPV VACCINATION?
 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for girls and boys at age 11 or 12.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

HOW CAN I KNOW IF MY CHILD HAS BEEN EXPOSED TO HPV?
 

Exposure can happen with any kind of adolescent experimentation that involves genital contact with someone who has HPV — intercourse isn't necessary, but it’s the most common way to get the virus. Because HPV often has no signs or symptoms, anyone can get the virus without even knowing it and then pass it on.

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN HPV AND CERVICAL CANCER?
 

Cervical cancer is caused by certain types of HPV. When a female is infected with these types of HPV and the virus doesn't go away on its own, abnormal cells can develop in the cervix. If these abnormal cells are not found early through routine cervical cancer screening and treated, then cervical cancer can develop.

Many females with cervical cancer were probably exposed to cancer-causing HPV types in their teens and 20s.

COULD HPV-RELATED CANCERS AND DISEASES AFFECT MY SON TOO?
 

Yes. Males can get HPV too. In fact, HPV can cause anal cancer and genital warts in males.

IS THE SAME VACCINE GIVEN TO BOTH GIRLS AND BOYS?
 

Yes. GARDASIL 9 is indicated for girls and women ages 9 to 26 as well as boys and men ages 9 to 26.

 
WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN HPV AND GENITAL WARTS?
 

Two types of HPV cause approximately 90% of all genital warts cases in both males and females. Every hour, there are an estimated 40 new cases of genital warts in the United States. Approximately 3 out of 4 people will get genital warts after having any kind of genital contact with someone who has genital warts.

Treatment for genital warts can be painful (for example, freezing or applying medicine to the warts) and, even after treatment, genital warts can come back. In fact, approximately 25% of all cases return within 3 months. Talk to your child's doctor or health care professional to learn more.

CAN HPV BE TREATED?
 

No. There are currently no available medicines that treat HPV infection. For most, HPV clears on its own. But, for others who don't clear the virus, HPV could cause cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancers in females and anal cancer and genital warts in both males and females. It's important that you learn about HPV and its link to certain cancers before your son or daughter is exposed to the virus. Talk to your child's doctor or health care professional to learn more.

IF MY CHILD IS 11 OR 12 YEARS OF AGE, IS THAT TOO YOUNG TO BE VACCINATED WITH GARDASIL 9?
 

No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends routine HPV vaccination for boys and girls at age 11 or 12. As with any vaccine, the time for vaccination is before your child is exposed to the virus.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

HOW SAFE IS GARDASIL 9?
 

The safety of a vaccine is an important part of its story.

Anyone who has an allergic reaction to a previous dose of GARDASIL or GARDASIL 9 or is allergic to the ingredients of GARDASIL 9, including those severely allergic to yeast, should not receive the vaccine. GARDASIL 9 is not for women who are pregnant.

The most common side effects include pain, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, bleeding, and a lump where your child got the shot, headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sore throat. Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL 9. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your health care professional may ask your child to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after getting GARDASIL 9. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

CAN MY CHILD GET GARDASIL 9 IF HE OR SHE ALREADY GOTTEN GARDASIL?
 

If your child has already gotten GARDASIL, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional to see if GARDASIL 9 is right for him or her.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

COULD MY CHILD GET HPV OR ANY DISEASE CAUSED BY HPV FROM GARDASIL 9?
 

No. It is not possible to get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from GARDASIL 9.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

WHAT ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN GARDASIL 9?
 

The ingredients are proteins of HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, amorphous aluminum hydroxyphosphate sulfate, yeast protein, sodium chloride, L-histidine, polysorbate 80, sodium borate, and water for injection.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

WHAT IF I CAN’T AFFORD GARDASIL 9 FOR MY CHILD?
 

GARDASIL 9 is part of the Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program, a federal program that helps provide free vaccines to children and adolescents 18 years of age or younger who are either Medicaid eligible, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or uninsured or whose health insurance does not fully cover vaccines.

Additional information regarding the VFC program can be found at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/vfc/index.html.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

WITH MORE THAN 40 GENITAL HPV TYPES, HOW EFFECTIVE IS GARDASIL 9 IF IT ONLY HELPS TO PROTECT AGAINST 9 TYPES OF HPV?
 

There are more than 40 genital HPV types. However, HPV Types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58 cause the majority of HPV-related cancers and diseases in males and females.

GARDASIL 9 is the only HPV vaccine that helps protect against 9 types of HPV.

In girls and women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL 9 helps protect against the 7 types of HPV that cause about 90% of HPV-related cervical cancer cases, about 85% of HPV-related vaginal cancer cases, and about 90% of HPV-related vulvar cancer cases. In males and females, GARDASIL 9 helps protect against the 7 types of HPV that cause about 90% of HPV-related anal cancer cases and the 2 types of HPV that cause about 90% of HPV-related genital warts cases.

Not all cases of vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancer are caused by HPV. Approximately 70% to 75% of vaginal cancer cases, 30% of vulvar cancer cases, and 85% to 90% of anal cancer cases are HPV related.

GARDASIL 9 may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. GARDASIL 9 does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it's important for girls to get routine cervical cancer screenings later in life. GARDASIL 9 does not treat cancer or genital warts. GARDASIL 9 is given as 3 injections over 6 months.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.

WILL MY DAUGHTER STILL NEED TO GET PAP TESTS IN THE FUTURE?
 

Yes. Pap tests will play a key role in protecting your daughter’s health as she gets older since GARDASIL 9 does not protect against all types of HPV. Pap tests are proven to help save lives by looking for abnormal cells in the cervix before they have the chance to become precancer or cancer.

Your daughter’s doctor or health care professional can tell you when your daughter’s first Pap test should be. In the meantime, it’s never too early to teach your daughter good health care habits.

For more information on GARDASIL 9, talk to your child’s doctor or health care professional.


 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Anyone who is allergic to the ingredients of GARDASIL 9 or GARDASIL, including those severely allergic to yeast, should not receive the vaccine. The safety of GARDASIL 9 has not been shown in pregnant women.

The side effects include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • A lump where your child got the shot
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
Fainting can happen after getting GARDASIL 9. Sometimes people who faint can fall and hurt themselves. For this reason, your health care professional may ask your child to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after your child gets GARDASIL 9. Some people who faint might shake or become stiff.
Only a doctor or health care professional can decide if GARDASIL 9 is right for your child.

INFORMATION ABOUT GARDASIL 9

GARDASIL 9 helps protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV.
GARDASIL®9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) helps protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV.
GARDASIL 9 helps protect boys and men ages 9 to 26 against anal cancer and genital warts caused by those same HPV types.
GARDASIL 9 may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. GARDASIL 9 does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important for women to get routine cervical cancer screenings.
GARDASIL 9 does not treat cancer or genital warts. GARDASIL 9 is given as 3 injections over 6 months.
Please read the Patient Information for GARDASIL 9 and discuss it with your child’s doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.
Having trouble paying for your Merck vaccine? Merck may be able to help. Visit http://www.merck.com/merckhelps.

INFORMATION ABOUT GARDASIL 9

GARDASIL 9 helps protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV.
GARDASIL®9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant) helps protect girls and women ages 9 to 26 against cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal cancers and genital warts caused by 9 types of HPV.
GARDASIL 9 helps protect boys and men ages 9 to 26 against anal cancer and genital warts caused by those same HPV types.
GARDASIL 9 may not fully protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types or against diseases not caused by HPV. GARDASIL 9 does not prevent all types of cervical cancer, so it’s important for women to get routine cervical cancer screenings.
GARDASIL 9 does not treat cancer or genital warts. GARDASIL 9 is given as 3 injections over 6 months.

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