The Student Health and Wellness Center provides immunizations for many vaccine-preventable diseases such as:
- PDF Document: Influenza
- PDF Document: Hepatitis A
- PDF Document: MMR (Measles, Mumps & Rubella)
- PDF Document: Polio
HPV Vaccination = Cancer Prevention
What is HPV?
- HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a group of viruses that can cause certain types of cancers later in life.(1)
- Many different HPV types are known, and they are most commonly spread through sexual contact.(1)
How common is HPV infection in the U.S.?
- HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S.(2)
- Approximately 80-90% of sexually active people will be infected at some point in their lifetime.(2)
- Almost 80 million people across the U.S. are currently infected with HPV.(3)
- Each year, 14 million new HPV infections occur, and about half are in those 15-24 years old.(3,4)
- Both men and women can become infected with HPV and pass it to others.(1)
Does HPV infect men and women equally?
- Some types of HPV infection are more common in men than in women.(2)
- For example, oral HPV infections are more than three times more common in men than in women, affecting about 11 million men versus 3.2 million women.(5)
How is HPV transmitted from person to person?
- More than 40 different HPV types are spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex.(2)
- Condoms do not provide complete protections against HPV infection, though they are recommended to prevent transmission.(2)
- Most infections never cause any symptoms and resolve spontaneously on their own within 1-2 years.(2)
- Because the virus is so common, most people will be infected with HPV after becoming sexually active for the first time.(2)
- Many sexually active people pass HPV to others without knowing it.(2)
What diseases are caused by HPV?
- The types of HPV that are spread by sexual contact are classified as low risk or high risk.(1,2)
- Low-risk types, such as HPV 6 and 11, can cause skin warts on the genitals, mouth, and throat.
- High-risk types, such as HPV 16 and 18, are associated with HPV-related cancers. These HPV types can cause cancers in the cervix, throat, tongue, tonsils, anus, vulva, vagina, and penis.
How many HPV-associated cancers are diagnosed each year?
- The number of HPV-associated cancers rises each year, with about 36,000 new cases diagnosed annually.(6)
- Oropharyngeal cancers: These are cancers of the throat, tonsils, or back of the tongue and represent the fastest growing segment of HPV-related cancers. About 14,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
- Cervical cancers: Nearly all cervical cancers are attributed to HPV infection. About 11,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
- Anal cancers: Like cervical cancer, nearly all anal cancers are linked to HPV infection. The number of HPV-related anal cancer cases is twice as high in women than men with about 6,500 new cases every year.
- About 40% of all HPV-associated cancers are in men.(6)
- Cancers of the throat, tonsils, and tongue are about five times greater in males than in females.
How can HPV vaccination prevent the spread of HPV infection?
- The HPV vaccine, 9-valent HPV (9vHPV; Gardasil®9) protects against the most common types of HPV, both low-risk and high-risk types.(7)
- 9vHPV protects against genital warts caused by HPV 6 and 11.
- It also protects against cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal, and oropharyngeal and other head and neck cancers caused by HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.
- In clinical trials, the vaccine was 97% effective in preventing disease and persistent infection.(8)
Who should receive the HPV vaccine?
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends routine HPV vaccination for all children and adults 11-26 years of age, and vaccination can begin as early as age 9.(9)
- Both males and females are recommended to receive vaccination to prevent the spread of HPV infection and reduce the risk of HPV-associated cancers.
- Multiple doses of the HPV vaccine are needed to provide complete protection against the nine HPV types.(9)
- If the first dose of 9vHPV is given between the ages of 9-14 years, then only one additional dose is needed for a total of two doses to complete the series.
- If the first dose of 9vHPV is given between the ages of 15-26, then two additional doses are needed for a total of three doses to complete the series.
Common Questions and Answers About the HPV Vaccine
A: HPV is so common that about 80% of sexually active women and men will have an HPV infection at some point. Even if you aren’t having sex currently, it’s important to have this protection in place for when you do have a partner.(10)
A: HPV vaccination is very safe. The vaccine has been available for nearly 15 years and millions of doses have safely been given in the U.S. and around the world. The most common side effects are the same as observed with other adolescent vaccines, namely soreness and redness in the arm where the shot is given.(10, 11)
A: Studies continue to prove HPV vaccination works extremely well, decreasing the number of infections and HPV precancers in young people since it has been available.(10)
A: The ideal time to provide HPV vaccination is before the onset of sexual activity. Most HPV infections happen during the teen and young adult years soon after the initiation of sexual activity.(10)
A: Almost everyone will be exposed to HPV at some point in their life. The vaccine can be provided even if you aren’t sexually active. Because the infection is so common, most people will be infected with HPV after becoming sexually active for the first time if not vaccinated. Even if you only have one sexual partner, you can still be infected.(2)
A: The vaccination is provided in a series so that your body can develop the optimal immune response. You need more than one dose to build enough immunity to prevent the diseases associated with HPV infection.(10)
A: HPV vaccination can prevent infection with the types of virus most commonly associated with several diseases, including cancers of the penis, anus and back of the throat. It also guards against the HPV types that cause virtually all cases of genital warts.(10)
A: In 2018, the FDA approved the use of 9vHPV in individuals aged 27-45 years. Because adults have a higher risk of previous HPV exposure and so less likely to benefit from vaccination, current guidelines do not recommend routine vaccination for all adults over the age of 26 years. Instead, shared clinical-decision making between the patient and provider should be used regarding HPV vaccination in adults aged 27-45 years who have not been previously vaccinated.(1)
1. National Cancer Institute: HPV and Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-and-cancer. Accessed June 17, 2021.
2. National Cancer Institute: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-fact-sheet. Accessed June 17, 2021.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About HPV. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/about-hpv.html
4. Markowitz L, et al. Human papillomavirus vaccination: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR. 2014;63(RR-05):1-30.
5. Sonawane K, et al. Oral Human Papillomavirus Infection: Differences in Prevalence Between Sexes and Concordance With Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection, NHANES 2011 to 2014. Ann Intern Med. 2017 Nov 21;167(10):714-724.
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Many Cancers Are Linked with HPV Each Year? Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/statistics/cases.htm. Accessed June 17, 2021.
7. Gardasil®9 (Human Papillomavirus 9-valent Vaccine, Recombinant). Prescribing information. Merck & Co., Inc; Whitehouse Station, NJ.
8. Joura EA, et al. A 9-Valent HPV Vaccine Against Infection and Intraepithelial Neoplasia in Women. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(8)711-23.
9. Meites E, et al. Human Papillomavirus Vaccination for Adults: Updated Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR. 2019;68(32):698-702.
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Talking to Parents about HPV Vaccine. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/hcp/for-hcp-tipsheet-hpv.pdf. Accessed June 17, 2021.
11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How I Recommend Vaccination Video Series. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/hcp/how-I-recommend.html. Accessed June 17, 2021.
Prevent seasonal flu: Get vaccinated!
An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community. This is especially important for anyone with a history of asthma, as asthmatics are at increased risk of severe disease and complications from the flu.
Living in the residence halls can be a great set-up for having the flu sweep through, making students too sick to attend classes for several days. While the influenza vaccine is not 100% protective, it is one of the best things your child can do to help prevent contracting it while living on campus. The Student Health and Wellness Center hosts flu clinics throughout the academic school year.
What is the flu?
Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus.
How is it spread?
The flu is spread from person-to-person through droplets from coughing, sneezing or talking. Droplets can land in the mouth or nose or possibly be inhaled, and can be spread between persons up to six feet away.
What are the symptoms?
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills (although not everyone with the flu will have a fever)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
What should I do if I think I have the flu?
- Contact the SHWC at 410-516-8270. We are more than happy to schedule an appointment for you and provide recommendations for care.
- Try to avoid close contact with others, or wear a mask over your nose and mouth
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Stay home for at least 24 hours until your fever subsides