WHAT IS HPV?
HPV (human papillomavirus) is currently the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States. HPV infection often does not cause any visible signs or symptoms and the virus is spread simply through intimate skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Asymptomatic women and men can carry the virus unknowingly and spread it to their partners. You do not need to have sexual intercourse or exchange of bodily fluids to become infected with HPV–the virus can be spread even when condoms are used consistently.
WHAT IS THE HPV VACCINE?
Gardasil, also known as the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine, is a vaccination consisting of three injections given over a period of six months. Gardasil 9 vaccine (9v-HPV) protects against 9 of the most common strains of HPV. This is the newest HPV vaccine approved by the FDA and is in stock at SHS. The vaccine is given as a series of shots on different dates. If the immunization series is started prior to coming to campus, students can finish the vaccine series here at SHS. If you started the HPV series at another office, please bring a note from your provider with the exact date(s) of vaccination and the full name of the vaccine received (e.g. Gardasil 4 or Gardasil 9). Because the Gardasil 9 vaccine is not required, we cannot guarantee health insurance will cover or reimburse the cost. The vaccine is covered for students enrolled in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP).
WHO CAN RECEIVE THE HPV VACCINE?
Gardasil is available to both men and women at Student Health Service in the Immunizations Department and in Women’s Health. Even if you have previously been diagnosed with HPV, you may still receive the vaccine; however, the vaccine will not protect you from whichever type you have already been exposed to.
You should not receive the Gardasil vaccine if you are or could be pregnant, are moderately or severely ill at the time of vaccination, have had a bad reaction to a previous Gardasil vaccine or if you are allergic to yeast or any other component of the vaccine.
For more information on the vaccine please visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines or speak with your health care provider.
If you are interested in receiving Gardasil, please schedule an appointment with the Immunizations department online or by calling 215-746-3535.
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