There are currently two manufacturers that have permission and licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide HPV Vaccine. These two manufactures are GlaxoSmithKline under the name Cervarix and Merck under the name Gardasil.
HPV Vaccine variations
These two HPV Vaccines are not the same, each is has been developed by their respective manufacturer and are made with proprietary formulations. Both vaccines have been developed using microscopic elements of HPV within their formulations. This is similar to the way in which all vaccines are produced. The microscopic parts of existing HPV will not infect the person receiving the vaccine. Both of these vaccines have been proven safe, effective, and critical in the fight against HPV and both are administered with three separate shots.
There are a few differences between the two types of available HPV Vaccine. While both vaccines protect the vaccinated from HPV types 18 and 16, the primary types responsible for most cases of HPV related cervical cancer, only the Gardasil vaccine is able to target HPV type 6 and type 11, these being the HPV types most linked with the formation of genital warts. The Gardasil product is also the only one of the two that is allowed as a vaccine for use in male patients and only Gardasil has the clinical tests available that show its effectiveness against specific HPV related anus, vulva, and vagina cancers.
When to apply HPV Vaccine
The United states Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all females be vaccinated at ages 11 to 12 in order to protect them from cervical cancer. If they choose the Gardasil HPV Vaccine this protection will extend into the other types of HPV that Gardasil has been proven to be effective against. Though the ages from 11 to 12 for girls is recommended the CDC has stated that if not yet vaccinated, all females between 13 through 26 years of age would benefit from vaccination.
Vaccination for males between 9 and 26 years of age is also recommended, though the primary target for HPV Vaccine by the CDC is young women. This is due to the impact HPV has on women over men and it is thought by the CDC, right or wrong, that vaccinated women at this young age will in turn protect men as the virus is primarily transferred through sexual contact and females will already have been immunized. In an ideal world and for maximum protection it is recommended that both females and males be vaccinated in order to thwart this malicious virus.