FAQ - Common questions answered

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What is the difference between GARDASIL® and GARDASIL®9?

GARDASIL®9 is a vaccine (injection/shot) that helps protect against some diseases caused by 9 types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). GARDASIL®9 contains the same 4 HPV types (6, 11, 16, 18) as in GARDASIL® with 5 additional HPV types (31, 33, 45, 52, 58).

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

If I’m already sexually active, can I still get vaccinated?

Yes, you can, but only your healthcare professional can tell you if GARDASIL®9 is right for you. If you’re already sexually active, you may still benefit from GARDASIL®9. Though GARDASIL®9 cannot treat an existing HPV infection, you can still benefit from GARDASIL®9 if you are already infected with one type of HPV. Even if that HPV type is contained in the vaccine, GARDASIL®9 will still help protect you against the other eight types. 

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Could I get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from GARDASIL®9?

No. You cannot get HPV or any disease caused by HPV from GARDASIL®9. 

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

What are the side effects of GARDASIL®9?

The most commonly reported side effects included pain, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, bleeding, and a lump where you got the shot, as well as headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sore throat.

Fainting can happen after getting a HPV vaccine. Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing, wheezing (bronchospasm), hives and rash. These are not all the side effects reported. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional to see if GARDASIL®9 is right for you.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Does HPV affect males and females?

Yes. HPV is a common virus that affects both males and females. There are more than 100 types of HPV. Most often, HPV does not cause any symptoms and goes away on its own. However, there are a few types of HPV you should really know about, like the 30 to 40 types that affect the genital area, and the 9 types covered by GARDASIL®9.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Is the same vaccine given to both males and females?

Yes, males and females receive the same vaccine.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Do I need to get all 3 doses of GARDASIL®9 from the same healthcare professional?

You don’t need to get all 3 doses of GARDASIL®9 from the same healthcare professional. But you do need 3 doses and to follow the vaccination schedule to get the best protection.

If you know you’ll be away at school or somewhere else when it’s time for your next dose of GARDASIL®9, that’s fine. But think about setting up an appointment now – it will save you from worrying about it later. Plus you can make sure that your healthcare professional has GARDASIL®9 in stock.

Get the Immunize Canada app here, which can help you organize your vaccine information (for the whole family, if you have one) as well as remind you when to get your next 2 doses of GARDASIL®9.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

My healthcare professional ran out of GARDASIL®9 and had me pick up my vaccine at the pharmacy. Is this okay?

Yes. The doctor’s office may not carry GARDASIL®9 or it may have just run out. If your healthcare professional does not have GARDASIL®9, he or she may write you a prescription so that you can pick up your vaccine at a pharmacy and then come back to be vaccinated. The vaccine should be given as soon as possible after being taken out of the fridge.

When your healthcare professional writes you a prescription for GARDASIL®9, be sure to get specific directions about picking up and storing the vaccine. 

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Can I get GARDASIL®9 even if I’ve already been vaccinated with GARDASIL®?

Talk to your healthcare professional to see if GARDASIL®9 is right for you.

Will GARDASIL®9 help me if I already have HPV?

GARDASIL®9 helps prevent the diseases caused by some types of HPV but will not treat them. If you are already infected with one type of HPV contained in the vaccine, GARDASIL®9 will help protect you against the other eight types.

Talk to your healthcare professional for more information.

Why is GARDASIL®9 only for girls and women ages 9 to 45 and boys and men ages 9 to 26?

GARDASIL®9 is only for girls and women ages 9 to 45 and boys and men ages 9 to 26 because the clinical trials for GARDASIL®9 included females and males within these age groups.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Why does GARDASIL®9 help protect against only 90% of cervical cancers?

Here’s why: Cervical cancer can be caused by many types of HPV.

GARDASIL®9, which contains proteins from 9 HPV types, helps prevent infection by HPV types causing approximately 90% of cervical cancer cases. The vaccine also helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause over 90% of genital warts in men and women - HPV types 6 and 11. In boys and men ages 9 to 26, and girls and women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL®9 also helps protect against anal cancer caused by HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58, and abnormal and precancerous anal lesions caused by all 9 HPV types in the vaccine.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

Can men get vaccinated with GARDASIL®9?

Yes. In boys and men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL®9 helps protect against infection caused by HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58 and the following diseases caused by HPV:

  • Anal cancer caused by HPV types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58
  • Genital warts caused by types 6 and 11
  • Abnormal and precancerous anal lesions caused by types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

If I’m female and I get vaccinated, do I still need to get Pap tests?

Yes. Vaccination with GARDASIL®9 does not remove the need for cervical cancer screening; women should still get routine Pap tests (cervical cancer screenings). You should always follow your healthcare professional’s advice on getting Pap tests.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

What if I’m late getting my second or third dose of GARDASIL®9?

Ideally, your vaccination schedule should be: 

 First dose: at a date you and your healthcare provider choose.

 Second dose: 2 months after the first dose (and not earlier than 1 month after the 1st dose).

 Third dose: 6 months after the first dose (and not earlier than 3 months after the 2nd dose).

If you’re a few days late getting your second or third dose of GARDASIL®9, don’t panic. If you miss a dose, your healthcare professional will decide when to give the missed dose.

One way to make sure you’re on time for your second and third doses is to make your follow-up appointments before you even leave your healthcare professional’s office. If you think email reminders will help you get your next 2 doses on time, we can help.

Get the Immunize Canada app here, which can help you organize your vaccine information (for the whole family, if you have one) as well as remind you when to get your next 2 doses of GARDASIL®9.

For more information about GARDASIL®9, talk to your healthcare professional.

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