Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), with over 50% of sexually active people getting it at some point, often without symptoms.

HPV Hero Image

HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus. 

The Cayman Islands programme will use the Gardasil-9 HPV vaccine, which protects against nine major types of HPV. These include pre-cancerous lesions, cancers, and genital warts in both males and females.

The vaccine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA for females and males aged 9 to 25. Cayman Islands Residents aged 9-45 are eligible for the HPV vaccine.

What is HPV?

Watch | HSA Public Health: HPV Campaign

There are about 40 types of HPV that can infect the genital areas of men and women. Most HPV types cause no symptoms and go away on their own. But some types can cause pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix, vagina, and vulva, as well as genital warts. 

Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women around the world.

There is no treatment for HPV infection, although the conditions it causes can be treated.

Who should get the vaccine?

  • The HPV Vaccine is routinely recommended for girls and boys 11-12 years of age because of their robust immune systems but can be given as young as 9 years old or up to age 45.
  • Persons need to get the HPV vaccine before their first sexual contact. For these individuals, the vaccine can prevent almost 100% of diseases caused by the 9 types of HPV targeted by the vaccine.
  • If an individual is already infected with a type of HPV, the vaccine will not prevent disease from that type.

Will sexually active persons benefit from the vaccine?

It is recommended that persons should get the vaccine before they become sexually active. Sexually active individuals who have not been infected with any of the 9 types of HPV contained in the vaccine, would receive optimum vaccination benefit. 

Even if individuals have been previously infected with one or more HPV types, the vaccine still offers protection against the types they have not acquired. It's important to note that only a few young persons are infected with all nine HPV types covered by the vaccine.

Where can I get the Vaccine?

The HPV vaccine is offered to residents ages 9-45 years old. Persons could get the vaccine through: 

School Outreach Programme

HPV vaccination is offered to boys and girls aged 11 to 12 in year 7 at high schools.

Communications regarding the vaccination will be sent to parents through the school. No child will receive the vaccination without parental consent, and parents have the option to be present during the vaccination process.


HPV vaccination will also be available for all children aged 11-17 by appointment, and parents must accompany their children during their visit.

  • Public Health Department (345) 244-2648
  • Faith Hospital, Cayman Brac (345) 948-2243

Are there any side effects to look for after vaccination?

The most common side effect is soreness in the arm (where the vaccine is given).

The common side effects at the injection site are:

  • Pain (the most common side effect)
  • Headache
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Redness

Other Side Effects Include:

  • Fever mild - mod (100 - 102° F)
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Abdominal pain

When these side effects do occur, in most cases they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. If troublesome, take a dose of a suitable painkiller such as Paracetamol (Panadol) for fever and/or injection site pain. 

For more information

Contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648 or the Cayman Islands Cancer Society at 949-7618 or visit

Additional Resources

For more information, download the following information: