This study is recruiting girls that were immunized with the HPV vaccine according to their provincial immunization schedule. Visit www.questhpvstudy.ca to find out if you’re eligible and to learn more about the study details.
Audra and her aunt Laura are strong believers in the HPV vaccine, for good reason: Gisel, Audra's mother and Laura's older sister, died from cervical cancer at only 38.
The HPV vaccines protect against infection from certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause genital warts and cancers of the anus, cervix, mouth and throat, penis, vagina, and vulva. There are 3 HPV vaccines:
All 3 vaccines protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 70% of cases of cervical cancer and 80% of cases of anal cancer. The HPV9 vaccine protects against 5 additional types of HPV that cause about 15% to 20% of cervical cancers and 11% of anal cancers in women and 4% in men. The HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines also protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 90% of cases of genital warts.
All of these vaccines are approved by Health Canada.
The HPV9 vaccine is recommended and provided free to girls in grade 6. In September 2016, the HPV9 vaccine replaced the HPV4 vaccine which was previously provided as part of the school-based immunization program.
The HPV9 vaccine is also provided free to females who are 9 to 26 years of age who are infected with HIV.
*Starting September 2017, BC's publicly funded immunization program will include the HPV9 vaccine for grade 6 boys. Therefore all grade 6 students in BC, both female and male, will be offered the HPV9 vaccine series for free as part of the regular school-based immunization program. For more information please refer to the Ministry of Health announcement: B.C. extends free HPV coverage to boys.
The HPV4 vaccine is recommended and provided free to girls and young women born in 1994 to 2004 who have not received the vaccine. Girls and young women in this age group who missed getting the HPV4 vaccine can contact their health care provider to get immunized at no cost.
The HPV4 vaccine is also free for males who are at an increased risk for HPV infection. This includes males:
The HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines are recommended, but not provided free (unless mentioned above), for the following people:
The HPV2 vaccine is recommended, but not provided free, for girls and women 9 to 45 years of age. The HPV2 vaccine is not currently approved for use in boys or men.
Those not eligible for free HPV vaccine can purchase it at most pharmacies and travel clinics and at some sexual health clinics.
It's best to get immunized before becoming sexually active and coming in contact with HPV; however, people who are sexually active may still benefit from the vaccines. The vaccines do not treat HPV infections.
In women who have never been infected with HPV, the vaccines prevent almost 100% of cases of cervical cancer caused by the HPV types covered by the vaccines. The HPV4 and HPV9 vaccines prevent about 78% of cases of anal cancers in men caused by 2 types of HPV. These two vaccines also prevent about 90% to 100% of cases of genital warts in men and women that are caused by 2 other types of HPV.
For more information about HPV vaccines, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC File: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.
For answers to frequently asked questions about the HPV vaccine, see our HPV vaccine FAQ.
For more information about HPV, see the HealthLink BC file on HPV infection.
It is important for women to get regular Pap tests once they become sexually active because the HPV vaccine protects against most but not all cancers of the cervix.
To learn more visit: BC Cancer Agency cervical cancer screening page
If you are a health care provider looking for immunization information, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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