There are currently two HPV vaccines available and in use in BC:
- Cervarix® (HPV2)
- Gardasil®9 (HPV9)
Both vaccines protect against HPV types 16 and 18 that cause about 70% of cervical cancers and 80% of anal cancers. The HPV9 vaccine protects against five additional cancer causing types (HPV 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58) which account for about 15% of cervical cancers, 11% of anal cancers in females and 4% in males. HPV9 vaccine also protects against HPV types 6 and 11 that cause about 90% of cases of genital warts.
Both of these HPV vaccines are approved by Health Canada.
9-valent HPV Vaccine Program
The HPV9 vaccine is publicly funded for both boys and girls in grade 6 as part of the regular school-based immunization program. The vaccine is being offered to boys in grade 6 for the first time starting in September 2017.
The HPV9 vaccine is also publicly funded for females born in 1994 or later who were not immunized in the school-based program, or did not complete their vaccine series.
The HPV9 vaccine is also publicly funded for individuals 9 to 26 years of age who are:
- HIV positive;
- males who have sex with males, including those who may not yet be sexually active and are questioning their sexual orientation; and
- males who are street involved.
Other males eligible for HPV9 vaccine include those:
- 9 to 18 years of age in the care of the Minisitry of Children and Family Development
- in youth custody services centres.
Unless indicated above, HPV9 vaccine is recommended, but not publicly funded for the following people:
- women 45 years of age and younger born prior to 1994
- males 9-26 years of age
- males 27 years of age and older who have sex with men.
Cervarix® (HPV2) is recommended, but not publicly funded, for females 9 to 45 years of age. The vaccine is not currently approved for use in males.
Those not eligible for publicly funded HPV vaccine, but who would like to receive the vaccine, can purchase it from most pharmacies and travel clinics.
For more information regarding eligibility, guidelines for use and contraindications for HPV vaccines please refer to the BC Immunization Manual, Part 4 - Biological Products, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.
The HPV vaccines are given as either 2 or 3 doses over a 6 month period. Immunocompetent individuals 9 to 14 years of age need 2 doses given at least 6 months apart. Individuals 15 years of age and older and those who are immunocompromised need 3 doses.