Gardasil 9 is given as a course of three injections. These are usually given in the upper arm. It immunises against the 9 strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) (6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58) that cause the majority of genital warts and cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina and cervix.
HPV is transmitted during sex, or skin to skin contact with the genitals.
The vaccine is made from proteins that mimic HPV. When the vaccine is given, the body responds by making antibodies to get rid of it. If you are then exposed to the real virus, those same antibodies prevent it from entering cells and creating an infection which can ultimately lead to warts or cancer. The vaccine does not contain any live virus, so it cannot cause cancer or other HPV-related illnesses.
Who is Gardasil 9 for?
Both men and women can be prescribed Gardasil 9 through our service. Men will be protected from 90% of genital warts and anal cancer, while women will be additionally protected against certain strains of cancer affecting the vulva, vagina and cervix.
How to get Gardasil 9 injections
- Complete your confidential online questionnaire
- Select which LloydsPharmacy store you would like to be vaccinated at. Log in or register to make the payment online.
- One of our clinicians will check that you are suitable to receive this vaccine and send you a message once your prescription is ready.
- Call your selected pharmacy to book your appointment. You will need 3 appointments in total over 6 months to complete the vaccination course.
If you’re not yet sexually active, Gardasil 9 can prevent up to 90% of genital warts and HPV related anogenital cancers (anus, vulva, vagina, cervix).
If you are already sexually active, Gardasil 9 can still reduce your chances of getting any of these conditions.
As Gardasil 9 does not offer 100% protection, we always advise women to have regular cervical smear tests (these detect early signs of cervical cancer).
Studies show that Gardasil 9 provides immunity for at least 8 years. It is likely that the protection lasts for much longer, but this is yet to be scientifically proven. Currently, a booster injection is not necessary.
Most common side effects
Most patients experience no side effects. However, you may experience pain, redness, itching, bruising or swelling at the injection site, headache, dizziness, nausea, fever and tiredness. Any of these side effects should not last more than 2-3 days.
Rare but serious side effects
There are a few rare but serious side effects you need to know about before deciding to have the vaccine. These include difficulty breathing, encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain), Guillain-Barre Syndrome (rapid onset muscle weakness), and bleeding disorders.
Risk of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include fainting, shortness of breath, sudden drop in blood pressure and swelling of the face and neck. This is extremely rare and typically happens within 10 minutes of receiving the injection. All LloydsPharmacy staff providing this vaccination service are fully trained in managing anaphylaxis, should it occur.
What’s the difference between Gardasil, Gardasil 9 and Cervarix?
Gardasil 9 is the newer version of Gardasil, and provides better protection against cancers affecting the female genitals and anus.
Cervarix was the first vaccine aimed at preventing cervical cancer. Although it is similar to Gardasil in the level of protection it offers against cancer, it does not protect against genital warts.
If you have already had Gardasil or Cervarix, but would like extra protection, you can still have the Gardasil 9 vaccine.