On this page
There are approximately 100 types of the Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a double stranded DNA virus that infects squamous epithelia including the skin and mucosae of the upper respiratory and anogenital tracts. Although most infections are asymptomatic and self-limiting, genital infection by HPV is associated with genital warts and anogenital cancers in both men and women. HPV viruses are classified as either ‘high-risk’ or ‘low-risk’ types depending on their association with the development of cancer.
The HPV vaccine is recommended for:
Gardasil is licensed for use from 9 years of age and it is the vaccine that has been used in the NHS since 2012. Gardasil provides protection against 4 HPV types: 16 and 18, 2 high risk HPV types that can lead to cancer; and 6 and 11, the 2 HPV types that cause approximately 90% of all anogenital warts in males and females.
Gardasil 9 provides protection against HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52 and 58) It offers protection against 5 additional types of HPV (31, 33, 45, 52, 58) which, although less common than types 16 and 18, are also considered high-risk. Gardasil 9 is expected to prevent the majority of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers and premalignant lesions, as well as genital warts associated with HPV. This vaccine is being rolled out in 2022.
The Complete Routine Immunisation Schedule (PDF) includes information about routine and non-routine vaccinations.
Vaccination programme recommendations from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and Welsh Government policy can be found at the links below.
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - GOV.UK (read JCVI publications and statements; search e.g. HPV)
Changing to a two-dose NHS Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination schedule for eligible adolescents and adults starting the course after they turn 15 years old, including men who have sex with men (MSM) (2022)
Changes to the HPV Vaccination Programme from September 2019
Chief Nursing Officer letter to Local Authority Directors of Education & School Governor Officers
Joint CMO/Chief Nursing Officer/ Director Education Directorate letter to headteachers - Maintaining school-based vaccination programmes during COVID-19 (2020)
Online courses and training materials about a number of vaccines and diseases can be accessed via the E-learning page.
Further immunisation training information and resources are provided on the Training Resources and Events page.
PGD templates for the HPV vaccine can be found on the Patient group directions (PGDs) and protocols page.
Cervical Screening Wales is responsible for the NHS cervical screening programme in Wales.