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There are currently three vaccines which protect against HPV infection:
These vaccines are licensed in the UK. Cervarix and Gardasil 9 are available privately. The NHS currently uses Gardasil to vaccinate girls. It is free for all girls from the age of 11 in Scotland  and 12 in the rest of the UK up to their 18th birthday, but only girls aged 11 to 13 in Scotland and 12 to 13 in the rest of the UK will be routinely offered the vaccine. The vaccination is given to girls at this age because their immune systems are at their strongest before puberty begins and the vaccination works best when the immune system is strong.
Vaccines are given by an injection into the muscle, usually the upper arm. For routine vaccination of girls under the age of 15, two separate doses are needed. The second dose should be given anytime between six to 12 months after the first, but it can be given up to 24 months after. If a girl is likely to reach her 15th birthday during the immunisation schedule, she will get three doses, as the response to two doses is not as good in older girls. These doses are given at zero, two and six months.
HPV vaccination has been shown to prevent infection and abnormal cervical cell changes for at least 10 years, but modelling suggests it will last longer . Ongoing studies will show how much longer young women will be protected for and whether booster shots will be required.
Gardasil, Cervarix and Gardasil 9 protect against the two highest risk HPV types. However, unfortunately, women can be infected with more than one type of HPV. Having the vaccine will provide protection against 70% of all cervical cancers and it will also prevent most of the more serious precancerous cervical changes (classed as moderate or severe cervical abnormalities)  .
There is some evidence that the HPV vaccines provide cross protection for other types of HPV, which may mean that they have a higher protection level than first thought  . Research indicates that the HPV vaccine could prevent two thirds of cervical cancers in women aged below 30 years old by 2025, but only if uptake of the HPV vaccination remains at or above 80% .