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Cancer Risk and Prevention

American Cancer Society Recommendations for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine Use


There are vaccines that can help protect children and young adults from some HPV infections. These vaccines are used to prevent cancer that can result from an HPV infection. They will not treat or protect against cancer from an existing HPV infection. Each vaccine requires a series of injections (shots). The injections are most often given in the muscle of the upper arm.

American Cancer Society recommendations

  • HPV vaccination works best when given to boys and girls between ages 9 and 12.
  • Children and young adults ages 13 through 26 years who have not been vaccinated or who have not received all of their shots should get the vaccine as soon as possible. Vaccination of young adults will not prevent as many cancers as vaccination of children and teens.
  • The ACS does not recommend HPV vaccination for persons older than 26 years.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information include:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Toll free number: 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)
TTY: 1-888-232-6348

  • For information on infectious diseases, vaccines, cancer, and many other health topics

National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
TTY: 1-800-332-8615

  • Has up-to-date information about cancer and cancer-related topics for patients, their families, and the general public

*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.

Saslow D, Andrews KS, Manassaram-Baptiste D, et al. Human papillomavirus vaccination 2020 guideline update: American Cancer Society guideline adaptation. CA Cancer J Clin. 2020; DOI: 10.3322/caac.21616.

Smith RA, Andrews KS, Brooks D, et al. Cancer screening in the United States, 2017: A review of current American Cancer Society Guidelines and Current Issues in Cancer Screening. CA Cancer J Clin. 2017; 67(2):100-121.

Last Revised: July 9, 2020

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