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Who can have the HPV vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is available to most people, but it is only offered free to people of a certain age or in certain situations.

Who can have the HPV vaccine in school?

In the past, the HPV vaccine was only available to girls. Since September 2019, it has been offered free in schools to girls and boys:

  • aged 11 to 12 in Scotland
  • aged 12 to 13 in the rest of the UK.

If you missed having the HPV vaccine in school

If you were offered the HPV vaccine but missed having it in school, you can have it free up to age 25 in England, Scotland and Wales. This applies to:

  • girls who were in year 8 (England and Wales), S1 (Scotland), or year 9 (Northern Ireland) in September 2008.
  • boys who were in year 8 (England and Wales), S1 (Scotland), or year 9 (Northern Ireland) in September 2019. 

If this does not apply to you, you will have to pay for the HPV vaccine. Your practice nurse or GP is the best person to speak with about having the vaccine.  

Can I have the HPV vaccine if I am age 25 or over?

Yes, there are different ways to have the HPV vaccine if you are 25 or over, depending on your individual situation. 

Paying to have the HPV vaccine

You may choose to have the HPV vaccine privately. The Gardasil, Cervarix and Gardasil 9 vaccines are sometimes available from travel clinics, local pharmacies and other health centres. Each dose usually costs about £150. 

You may be able to have the vaccine privately at your GP, but some surgeries will charge an extra administration fee. Check the full cost before you book an appointment. 

Different places may only offer the HPV vaccine to people up to a certain age. For example, some pharmacies only offer it to people up to age 45. Check if there is an age limit wherever you want to book an appointment. 

Men who have sex with men (MSM)  

If you are a man who has sex with men, you may be able to get the HPV vaccine for free in sexual health clinics across the UK:

  • In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland there is no lower age limit. You can have the HPV vaccine up to age 45.
  • In Wales, you can have the HPV vaccine between ages 15 and 45.

It is best to speak with a doctor or nurse at your local clinic for more details. 

Transgender people   

If you are a trans man or trans woman, you may be able to have the HPV vaccine free:

  • Trans men may be able to have the HPV vaccine free if they have sex with other men and are age 45 and under.
  • Trans women may be able to have the HPV vaccine free if their risk of getting HPV is the same as men who have sex with men. The nurse or doctor will talk this through with you, to make a decision based on your individual situation. 

If you are a trans man who has previously had all doses of the HPV vaccine in school, you do not need the vaccine again. 

Other groups

There are some other people who may be offered the HPV vaccine free on a case-by-case basis, including:

  • people who are HIV positive
  • sex workers.

If any of the above describe you and you want the HPV vaccine, speak with your nurse or doctor about having it. 

Who shouldn’t have the HPV vaccine?

You should not have the HPV vaccine if:

  • you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the HPV vaccine
  • you are pregnant. 

If you feel unwell and have a high temperature when you are due to have the HPV vaccine, you should have it another time. This is to avoid confusing the illness with any side effects of the vaccine. 

If you are unsure about whether you should have the HPV vaccine, it is best to speak with your nurse or doctor. 

More information about having the HPV vaccine

We’ve answered some commonly asked questions about the HPV vaccine, including more about who can have the vaccine and why.

Read our HPV vaccine FAQs >

If we haven’t answered your question, you might want to use our Ask the Expert service.

Submit your question >


All of our information is reviewed by medical experts and users. Thanks to those who helped us develop the information on this page.

We list a selection of references used for this information below. For full references, please email [email protected]

  1. Public Health England, HPV universal vaccination: guidance for professionals, Accessed July 2019.
  2. Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, Statement on HPV vaccination of men who have sex with men, 2015

HPV vaccine FAQs >

Read answers to common questions about the HPV vaccine.


If you have questions or concerns about the HPV vaccine, get a confidential response from a medical professional.

Ask the Expert
Date last updated: 
14 Jul 2020
Date due for review: 
01 Oct 2020
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