Girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years (born after 1 September 2006) are offered the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as part of the NHS vaccination programme.
The HPV vaccine helps protect against cancers caused by HPV, including:
- cervical cancer
- some mouth and throat (head and neck) cancers
- some cancers of the anal and genital areas
It also helps protect against genital warts.
In England, girls and boys aged 12 to 13 years are routinely offered the 1st HPV vaccination when they're in school Year 8. The 2nd dose is offered 6 to 24 months after the 1st dose.
It's important to have both doses of the vaccine to be properly protected.
If you’re eligible and miss the HPV vaccine offered in Year 8 at school, it’s available for free on the NHS up until your 25th birthday for:
- girls born after 1 September 1991
- boys born after 1 September 2006
What is HPV?
HPV is the name given to a very common group of viruses.
There are many types of HPV, some of which are called "high risk" because they're linked to the development of cancers, such as cervical cancer, anal cancer, genital cancers, and cancers of the head and neck.
Other types can cause conditions like warts or verrucas.
High risk types of HPV can be found in more than 99% of cervical cancers.
There is also a significant association between HPV and some of the anal and genital cancers, and cancers of the head and neck.
HPV infections do not usually cause any symptoms, and most people will not know they're infected.