(Replaces No. 344, September 2006)
ABSTRACT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved both a bivalent and quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that HPV vaccination routinely be given to girls when they are 11 years or 12 years old. The vaccine can be given to individuals as young as 9 years; catch-up vaccination is recommended in females aged 13 years through 26 years. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses these recommendations. Although obstetrician–gynecologists are not likely to care for many girls in the initial vaccination target group, they are critical to the catch-up vaccination period. Both HPV vaccines are most effective if given before any exposure to HPV infection (ie, before sexual activity). However, sexually active girls and women can receive some benefit from the vaccination because exposure to all HPV types prevented by the vaccines is unlikely in females aged 13 years through 26 years. Vaccination with either HPV vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. It can be provided to women who are breastfeeding. The need for booster vaccination has not been established but appears unnecessary. Health care providers are encouraged to discuss with their patients the benefits and limitations of the HPV vaccine and the need for routine cervical cytology screening for those aged 21 years and older.
The relationship between infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) and both cervical cancer and genital warts has been recognized for many years (1). More than 100 genotypes of HPV have been discovered to date with approximately 30 found in the genital mucosa. However, only 15 have been shown to be associated with cervical cancer. Approximately 70% of all cases of cervical cancer are associated with HPV genotypes 16 and 18, and 90% of cases of genital warts are associated with HPV genotypes 6 and 11 (2). Although the implementation of cervical cytology screening programs and treatment of precancerous lesions has led to a decrease in deaths from cervical cancer in the United States, such deaths still occur. Approximately one half of all cases of cervical cancer are found in women who have never had a Pap test, and another 10% have not had one within the past 5 years (3). Both ongoing cervical cytology screening and HPV vaccination are needed to help eliminate these deaths.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed two vaccines shown to be effective at preventing HPV infection. The quadrivalent HPV vaccine offers protection against cervical cancer, cervical dysplasias, vulvar or vaginal dysplasias, and genital warts associated with HPV genotypes 6, 11, 16, and 18 (4). The FDA has approved administration of this three-dose vaccine to females aged 9 years through 26 years. The bivalent HPV vaccine recently obtained FDA approval for protection against cervical cancer and cervical dysplasia in females aged 10 years through 25 years. Results of studies of this bivalent vaccine indicate that it offers protection similar to the quadrivalent vaccine against HPV infections caused by genotypes 16 and 18 (5).
Studies of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine have shown that in participants naive to the vaccine genotypes who followed protocol, the vaccine was close to being 100% effective in preventing cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2, CIN 3, and condylomatous vulvar disease related to the HPV genotypes covered by the vaccine (4). For a woman with HPV infection, there is no evidence of protection from disease caused by the HPV genotypes with which she is infected. There is, however, evidence of protection from disease caused by the remaining HPV vaccine genotypes (6). Results of the clinical trials of the bivalent vaccine demonstrate similar protection against CIN 2 and CIN 3 in women who are naive to the vaccine's genotypes (7). The bivalent vaccine does not protect against lower genital tract condyloma caused by low-risk HPV types 6 and 11. To be maximally effective against all HPV genotypes included in either vaccine, vaccination should be given before the onset of sexual activity. If the vaccine is given after the onset of sexual activity, patients may have already been infected with HPV. The need for booster doses remains to be demonstrated but is unlikely (7). To date, protection has been shown to last at least 5 years for the quadrivalent vaccine (4) and more than 6 years for the bivalent vaccine (7).
Vaccination of Girls, Adolescents, and Young Women
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended the initial HPV vaccination target of females aged 11 years or 12 years. Depending on the circumstances, the vaccine can be given to individuals as young as age 9 years and catch-up is recommended in females aged 13 years through 26 years (2). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) endorses these recommendations. Obstetrician–gynecologists are encouraged to discuss HPV and the potential benefit of the HPV vaccine and to offer vaccination to those females aged 13 years through 26 years who have not already received it or completed the series (see box). During a health care visit with a girl or woman in the age range for vaccination, a health care provider should assess the patient's HPV vaccine status and document this information in the patient's record.
Human Papillomavirus Testing
Testing for HPV DNA is currently not recommended for adolescents or adults before vaccination. Serologic assays for HPV are unreliable and currently not commercially available. If the patient is tested and the results are positive, vaccination is still recommended because the chance that all vaccine preventable types are present is low.
Vaccination of Sexually Active Adolescents and Young Women
Sexually active adolescents and young women can receive either the quadrivalent or bivalent HPV vaccine. These patients should be counseled that the vaccine may be less effective in individuals who have been exposed to HPV before vaccination than in individuals who were HPV naive at the time of vaccination (4, 5). The need for ongoing cervical cytology screening should be emphasized in all women aged 21 years and older, even those vaccinated before the onset of sexual activity.
Key Information Regarding the Bivalent and
Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccines*
Administered intramuscularly as three separate 0.5-mL doses based on the following schedule:
- First dose: at elected date
- Second dose: 1–2 months after the first dose
- Third dose: 6 months after the first dose
Minimum interval between first and second dose is 4 weeks, between second and third dose is 12 weeks, and between first and third dose is 24 weeks. If vaccine schedule is interrupted, the series does not need to be restarted, regardless of the length of time between doses. Whenever possible, the same vaccine product should be used for all doses in the series.
- Target population: females aged 11 years or 12 years (can be started as early as age 9 years)
- Catch-up vaccination: females aged 13 years through 26 years
Individuals who develop symptoms indicative of hypersensitivity to the active substances or to any of the components of either vaccine after receiving a dose of vaccine should not receive further doses of the product. Safety and effectiveness of the two formulations have not been established in pregnant women. The manufacturers maintain pregnancy registries to monitor fetal outcomes of pregnant women exposed to the vaccine. Any exposure to it during pregnancy can be reported by calling 800-986-8999 for the quadrivalent vaccine and 888-452-9622 for the bivalent vaccine.
As with any vaccine, vaccination may not protect all vaccine recipients. Neither vaccine is intended to be used for treatment of active disease (ie, genital warts, cervical cancer, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia, or vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia). Human papillomavirus vaccines can be administered simultaneously or at any time before or after a different inactivated or live vaccine administration. Because vaccinated individuals may develop syncope, sometimes resulting in falling with injury, health care providers should consider observing patients for 15 minutes after vaccine administration.
Both formulations should be refrigerated at 2–8°C (36–46°F), should not be frozen, and should be protected from light.
Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting
To report an adverse event associated with administration, go to http://vaers.hhs.gov.
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommendations
For current recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/acip/default.htm.
Current Procedural Terminology Codes†
The American Medical Association has established a Current Procedural Terminology code of 90649 for quadrivalent HPV vaccination and 90650 for bivalent HPV vaccine.
*Note that the U. S. Food and Drug Administration labeling for the bivalent vaccine indicates it is for use in females aged 10 years through 25 years. In addition, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved dosage intervals for the quadrivalent and bivalent vaccines to be0 months, 2 months, and 6 months and 0 months, 1 month, and 6 months, respectively.
†Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) copyright 2009 American Medical Association. All rights reserved. CPT is a registered trademark of the American Medical Association.
Vaccination of Adolescents and Young Women With Previous Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia or Genital Warts
The HPV vaccines can be given to patients with previous CIN or genital warts, but health care providers need to emphasize that the benefits may be limited, and cervical cytology screening and corresponding management based on the College recommendations must continue.
Vaccination Is Not Treatment
The HPV vaccines are not intended to treat patients with a positive DNA test result, cervical cytologic abnormalities, or genital warts. Patients with these conditions should undergo the appropriate evaluation and treatment (8, 9).
Vaccination of Pregnant and Lactating Women
Both the quadrivalent and bivalent HPV vaccines have been classified by the FDA as pregnancy category B. Although HPV vaccination in pregnancy is not recommended, routine pregnancy testing before vaccination is not recommended. In clinical studies, the proportion of pregnancies with adverse outcomes was comparable in women who received the HPV vaccine and in women who received a placebo (10, 11). However, it is wise to remind patients to use contraception during the period of time when they are receiving the vaccination series. The manufacturer's pregnancy registry (see box) should be contacted if pregnancy is detected during the vaccination schedule. Completion of the series should be delayed until pregnancy is completed. Lactating women can receive either HPV vaccine because inactivated vaccines, such as these vaccines, do not affect the safety of breastfeeding for mothers or infants (12).
Vaccination of Immunosuppressed Patients
The presence of immunosuppression, like that experienced in patients with HIV infection or organ transplantation, is not a contraindication to HPV vaccination. However, the immune response may be less robust in the immunocompromised patient.
Vaccination of Women Older Than 26 Years and Males
Research regarding vaccination of women older than 26 years is currently under way. Data available are insufficient to make recommendations for these women. The FDA has approved the quadrivalent vaccine for boys and men aged 9 years through 26 years for the prevention of genital warts.
It is important for health care providers to provide patient education about HPV-related disease and be prepared to respond to questions from patients regarding the HPV vaccine, its benefits, and its limitations as discussed earlier. Studies have shown that physicians' recommendations play a crucial role in the acceptance of the vaccine by patients (13).
Consent for Human Papillomavirus Vaccination
In all states, minors are allowed to consent for diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. However, many of the laws that authorize them to provide such consent may only permit it after they have reached a specific age. Furthermore, these laws do not mention vaccinations (14). Clinicians should be familiar with state and local statutes regarding the rights of minors to health care services and the federal and state laws that affect confidentiality.
- Human papillomavirus. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 61. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2005;105:905–18.
- FDA licensure of bivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV2, Cervarix) for use in females and updated HPV vaccination recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2010;59:626–9.
- Cervical Cancer. NIH Consens Statement 1996 April 1-3;14(1):1–38. Available at http://consensus.nih.gov/1996/1996CervicalCancer102html.htm. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- Munoz N, Kjaer SK, Sigurdsson K, Iversen OE, Hernandez–Avila M, Wheeler CM, et al. Impact of human papillomavirus (HPV)-6/11/16/18 vaccine on all HPV-associated genital diseases in young women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2010;102:325–39.
- Paavonen J, Naud P, Salmeron J, Wheeler CM, Chow SN, Apter D, et al. Efficacy of human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine against cervical infectionand precancer caused by oncogenic HPV types (PATRICIA): final analysis of a double-blind, randomised study in young women. HPV PATRICIA Study Group. Lancet 2009;374:301–14.
- Prophylactic efficacy of a quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in women with virological evidence of HPV infection. FUTURE II Study Group. J Infect Dis 2007;196:1438–46.
- GlaxoSmithKline Vaccine HPV007 Study Group, Romanowski B, de Borba PC, Naud PS, RoteliMartins CM,et al. Sustained efficacy and immunogenicity of the human papillomavirus (HPV)16/18 AS04adjuvanted vaccine: analysis of a randomised placebocontrolled trial up to 6.4 years. Lancet 2009;374:1975–85.
- Cervical cancer in adolescents: screening, evaluation, and management. Committee Opinion No. 463. American College of Obstetricians and
- Management of abnormal cervical cytology and histology. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 99. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2008;112:1419–44.
- Merck & Co., Inc. Gardasil: highlights of prescribing information. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck; 2009. Available at: http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/g/gardasil/gardasil_pi.pdf. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- GlaxoSmithKline. Cervarix: highlights of prescribing information. Research Triangle Park (NC): GSK; 2009. Available at: http://us.gsk.com/products/assets/us_cervarix.pdf. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
- Atkinson WL, Pickering LK, Schwartz B, Weniger BG, Iskander JK, Watson JC. General recommendations on immunization. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the AmericanAcademy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Recomm Rep 2002; 51(RR-2):1–35.
- Zimet GD, Mays RM, Winston Y, Kee R, Dickes J, Su L. Acceptability of human papillomavirus immunization.J Womens Health Gend Based Med 2000;9:47–50.
- English A, Kenney KE. State minor consent laws: a summary. 2nd ed. Chapel Hill (NC): Center for Adolescent Health and the Law; 2003.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Cómo prevenir las enfermedades de transmisión sexual [Spanish]. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet SP009. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2008.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. How to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet AP009. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2008.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Human papillomavirus. In: Tool kit for teen care. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2009.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Human papillomavirus infection. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet AP073. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2006.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Infección por el papilomavirus humano [Spanish]. ACOG Patient Education Pamphlet SP073. Washington, DC: ACOG; 2006.
Cervical cytology screening. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 109. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2009;114:1409–20.
Human papillomavirus. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 61. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2005;105:905–18
The following list of organizations with information about HPV infection or HPV vaccination is for information purposes only. Referral to these sources and web sites does not imply the endorsement of the College. This list is not meant to be comprehensive. The exclusion of a source or web site does not reflect the quality of that source or web site. Please note that web sites are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, the College does not endorse any commercial products that may be advertised or available from these organizations or on these web sites.
American Cancer Society
The American Social Health Association
(919) 361-8488 (Sexually Transmitted Infection Resource Center Hotline)
American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
Center for Young Women's Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
U.S. Food and Drug Administration