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What are the HPV Vaccines? Can they Cure?

Currently, there are only three types of approved vaccines against HPV. All of them work preventively, protecting the vaccinated person against certain strains of the virus, especially those that cause cancer and genital warts. However, vaccines cannot cure HPV.

The three vaccines we are talking about are:

  • Gardasil®
  • Gardasil® 9
  • and Cervarix®

They are endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA. However, only Gardasil® 9 continues to be used in America.

All the vaccines protect against HPV viruses 16 and 18, two of the most dangerous due to their potential to cause cancer, especially cervical cancer; they cause 70% of the cases.

Does the Gardasil 9 vaccine cure HPV?

Doctor holding a vaccine.

No, the Gardasil 9 vaccine does not cure HPV, and neither do the other vaccines.

No vaccine can cure the infection caused by this virus, its function is to protect and prevent a possible contagion. That’s why it must be administered before having an active sex life.

Among the three existing vaccines, Gardasil is special because its protection range is broad.

It not only grants immunity to HPV variants 16 and 18, which as we already mentioned, cause different types of cancer, such as cervical, anal, penile…

It also provides immunity to types 6 and 11. These two strains are the ones that, in most cases, approximately 90%, cause genital warts.

This means that, by opting for this vaccine you will be protected against the most common and health-risky types of HPV.

Do HPV vaccines have adverse effects?

Woman thinking

Yes, HPV vaccines have side effects, like any other vaccine or medication. This does not mean that the vaccine is not safe, quite the opposite.

These vaccines are some of the safest, with more than 15 years of tests, research and monitoring, that’s why their application does not represent any health risk.

Such adverse effects are really mild and disappear by themselves, so you will not have to treat them or go to the doctor for them, unless you present severe symptoms.

The side effects of HPV vaccines are the following:

  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site
  • Headache and feeling of tiredness
  • Fever
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea

Some symptoms may occur and others may not, it’s something that cannot be controlled. Although, if we talk about dizziness and fainting, there is a way to avoid them.

For this, the appropriate thing is for the person who is going to be vaccinated to be sitting or lying down. And, after the vaccination, to remain in the same position for at least 15 minutes.

You should also avoid massaging, or applying cold or heat to the injection area, even if you feel pain. With the passing of the days all the discomfort will disappear.

Can I get the HPV vaccine if I already have the virus?

Doctor administering the HPV vaccine to a person.

Yes, you can get vaccinated against HPV if you are still within the specified age range.

However, you should know that the vaccine cannot cure the HPV you have already contracted, whatever the strain. Remember that its function is preventive.

Of course, it will offer you a benefit and that is to protect you against other strains of HPV, different from the ones you already have, if that is the case. This is something you should be very clear about before getting vaccinated, you must understand the purpose of vaccines.

It is important to mention that the vaccine may lose effectiveness if you apply it while you’re infected, which happens in some cases. Clearly, it is not the same to get vaccinated without having the virus, as it is to get vaccinated while having it. The formation of antibodies changes completely.

For that reason, we repeat what was said a few lines back: it is best to get the vaccine before having sexual relations. The benefits are greater and the effectiveness of this is almost 100%, as revealed by the vaccine approval studies.

Now, if in addition to being infected with a strain of HPV, you have cancer or there are suspicions of its existence, can you get the vaccine? The answer is yes, you can get the vaccine as long as you are within the recommended age range.

However, the vaccine will not make changes in your health status, neither negative nor positive. That is, it will not be able to reverse the damage to your cells, the only benefit will be the one we have already mentioned, giving you immunity against other types of HPV.

Until what age can the human papillomavirus vaccine be applied?

Doctor administering the HPV vaccine to a person.

The human papillomavirus vaccine can be applied up to the age of 45, which is the maximum age approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But, even though they have approved it this way, they do not recommend it.

They suggest that all people between the ages of 26 and 45 consult with their primary care doctor or specialist, to discuss the application of the vaccine and determine whether its application is truly necessary.

Even the American Cancer Society does not recommend HPV vaccination for people over 26 years old. Not because it is something dangerous, but because of the issue of vaccine effectiveness, especially in preventing cancer cases.

So, ideally, the human papillomavirus vaccine should be received between the ages of 9 and 26, although the best ages are 11 and 12.

The vaccination scheme varies according to age ranges, for example:

  • Children aged 9 to 14: Receive two doses at least 6 or 12 months apart.
  • Youths aged 15 to 26: Receive three doses of the vaccine over a 6-month period.

It goes without saying why all children and young people should be vaccinated against HPV, but the main reason is cancer prevention.

At any moment, all those children will become young adults and have an active sex life. Therefore, it is best to vaccinate them against this very common virus and educate them about good practices.

These were some tips to help you know how to deal with HPV. However, there is much more you need to do if you really want to get rid of HPV and warts forever.

What you need to do is GET RID OF THE ROOT of the problem.

For that reason, I recommend you to look into Dr. Kirkland's story and how he was able to cure HPV and get rid of warts for good.

Click here to see what he did

I wish you great success in your recovery!


Medically reviewed by Dr. John Wellington. Dr. John Wellington is a board-certified physician specializing in urology. With over 15 years of experience, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge through a popular health blog. Dr. Wellington holds an MD from Ivy League University and is a member of prestigious medical associations.

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