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  • Decorative pattern - Network - Green

    HPV Prevention

    HPV vaccine is cancer prevention.

    Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is a common infection that spreads by skin-to-skin contact. Most HPV infections go away by themselves but in some case can cause some cancers. HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer. HPV infection can also cause cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus and oropharynx (back of the throat). Every year in the United States, HPV causes about 36,000 cases of cancer in both men and women. The good news: You can prevent most of these cancers.

    Doctors recommend starting HPV vaccine for both boys and girls at age 9.

    The HPV vaccine protects against the most common cancers that HPV causes. Healthcare providers recommend the vaccine for preteen boys and girls starting at age 9. The HPV vaccine is most effective at age 9-12 as it produces the most infection-fighting cells, or antibodies. This also ensures immunity is already in place before any exposure to the virus.

    Teens and young adults should vaccinate, too.

    Everyone through age 26 years should get HPV vaccine if not already fully vaccinated.

    Adults age 27-45 should talk with their health care provider to see if the HPV vaccine is appropriate.

    If you or your child have not received the vaccine, it’s not too late. Talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist about getting it.

    Learn more about the HPV Vaccine.

    Where to find HPV vaccine

    Many healthcare provider offices and pharmacies carry HPV vaccine. Call ahead for availability.
    Visit our kid’s or adults vaccine page to find free vaccine locations and events.

    HPV vaccine is free for kids under 18.

    Washington provides all recommended vaccines at no cost for kids through age 18. They’re available from health care providers across the state.

    Your provider may charge an office-visit fee and an administration fee for the vaccine. Families who can’t afford to pay can ask for the fee to be waived.

    Under the Affordable Care Act, all health insurance plans should cover HPV vaccine at no cost.

    Parents can protect adolescents from HPV cancers. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider about the HPV vaccine. Make an appointment today.

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