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HealthInfo West Coast-Te Tai Poutini

HPV vaccine (Gardasil)

Friends on beach at sunsetThe vaccine used to treat human papilloma virus or HPV in New Zealand is called Gardasil.

The vaccine is free to everyone in New Zealand from the ages of 9 to 26. It's given as an injection.

People who are aged 9 to 14 need two doses while older people need three doses over six months.

The HPV vaccine helps protect against:

How HPV is spread

HPV infections can be spread by any skin to skin contact.

HPV is easy to catch through having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the virus. It can be passed on even if the infected person has no symptoms.

You don't have to have penetrative sex to get it. Skin to skin contact, including fingers, hands, mouth and genitals, can also spread the virus.

Types of HPV

HPV types 6 and 11 can cause genital warts and HPV types 16 and 18 can cause abnormal changes to cells, particularly on the cervix, that can lead to cervical cancer. This type of HPV is called high-risk HPV.

The Gardasil vaccine protects against these types of HPV infection and so reduces your chances of getting genital warts or cervical cancer. The vaccination works best to protect you from HPV if you have it before you start having any form of sexual contact.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last updated September 2021.

Sources

See also:

Helping with fear of vaccination

Vaccination for older children

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Review key: HICES-20461