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Do I Have to Get All My HPV Vaccine Shots?

I got my first HPV shot. Am I protected or do I need to get all of them to prevent the STD?

The HPV vaccine works best when people receive all their shots on schedule:

  • For kids and teens ages 9–14, the HPV vaccine is given in two shots over a 6- to 12-month period.
  • For teens and young adults (ages 15–26 in girls and 15–21 in guys), it's given in three shots over a 6-month period. Young adults who are at higher risk of getting infected can get it up to age 26.

Your best bet is to keep a calendar or set a phone reminder so you remember when shots are due. After your first shot, ask the doctor or nurse when you'll need to get the next shots. Schedule appointments right then, if you can — or write down the dates so you remember to set up something later.

But what if you've missed a shot? If you're under age 26, you can still catch up. Just ask your doctor about the best way to do that. 

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Date reviewed: March 2019