Updated August 2017

Gardasil® and Gardasil® 9

Vaccine Benefits

The vaccine protects against four to nine strains of human papillomavirus infection which can lead to cervical, vaginal, vulvar and anal cancers and/ or genital warts.

The number of doses needed may depend on your age and health condition. Students, ages 9 to 14 years old can receive a two-dose schedule, given 6 months apart. Students 15years or order; or with a weakened immune system, will need a three-dose schedule.

For individuals who have already received the full series of Gardasil® or Cervarix® vaccine, it may still be beneficial to get the Gardasil®-9 vaccine, as added protection against five other strains of the HPV.

Eligibility for Publicly Funded Vaccine

Toronto Public Health provides free HPV vaccine to students in Grade 7, including boys. New, this year, the HPV vaccine for Grade 7 students is Gardasil®-9. This vaccine protects against nine-strains of the human papillomavirus. The consent package is sent home with the students in September of each school year.

High school girls, who missed their vaccine in Grade 7 or 8 are still eligible for the free vaccination series. Make an appointment online.

Persons who self-identify as MSM, gay, bisexual or transgender, up to age 26 are also eligible for the free Gardasil®-4. Talk to your health care provider.

People Who Should Not Get the Vaccine

Anyone who is allergic to ingredients in the vaccine including yeast, alum and polysorbate-80 should not receive the vaccine. The vaccine is not recommended for use in pregnancy. As a precaution, if you have a fever, delay getting the vaccine until you are feeling better.

Vaccine Side Effects and Risks

The vaccine is safe, effective and well tolerated. Reactions are usually mild. Common side effects include pain, swelling, and redness where the vaccine was given, headache, fever, dizziness, nausea, sore throat or feeling faint shortly after receiving the vaccine.

In rare cases, serious allergic reactions such as trouble breathing, rash, swelling in the throat and face may occur. The allergic reactions can be treated and are usually temporary. Remain at the clinic for 15 minutes following vaccination for staff to monitor for any reactions.

Human Papillomavirus Infection

It is estimated that 75% of Canadians will have a human papillomavirus infection at some time. The infection is spread by intimate skin to skin contact. It can also spread from an infected mother to her baby during birth. Most infections may not show symptoms and may clear on their own. Certain HPV types can lead to diseases. Low-risk HPV strains can cause genital warts; while others can lead to cervical and anogenital cancers or cancers of the head and neck.

More Information

  • Talk to your health care provider
  • Call our Immunization Information Centre at 416-392-1250

Other Languages

This information and consent forms for vaccination are available in the following languages. Email us at immunization@toronto.ca.

  • Arabic /  العربية
  • Bengali / বাংলা
  • Chinese / 中文
  • French / Français
  • Tamil / தமிழ்