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Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Cost

How Much Does Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Cost?

average costWith Insurance: $30-$120high costWithout Insurance: $400-$500
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HPV vaccination protects against the four strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause most cases of genital warts and cervical cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all girls receive the HPV vaccine, also known by the brand name Gardasil, at age 11 or 12; however, it can be given any time between ages 9 and 26.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of HPV vaccination typically includes: shot administration fees and the cost of the three required doses of the vaccine at about $125 each, for a total of $400 to $500.
  • Many health insurance plans cover HPV vaccination, but only for females in the recommended age group. For example, Aetna[1] considers the HPV vaccination medically necessary for girls and women aged 9 to 26, so it is covered by plans that include preventive benefits. And it is covered by most BlueCross BlueShield of Rhode Island plans.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, typical expenses include a copay for each shot. For example, students covered under the student health plan at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology[2] pay $20 per shot for a total of $60. For any patient covered by health insurance whose out-of-pocket cost per dose is more than $30, Gardasil offers a rebate that will cover the remainder of the cost, up to $130.
Related articles: Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • The HPV vaccination requires three shots. The second shot is given two months after the first, and the final shot is given six months after the first.
  • The vaccine is almost 100 percent effective in protecting against the four targeted strains of HPV. According to the American Cancer Society[3] , almost all cervical cancers are related to HPV, and the vaccine will protect against the two types of HPV that cause 70 percent of all cervical cancers as well as the two types that cause 90 percent of all genital warts.
Additional costs:
  • HPV vaccination can be done at a routine doctor visit; otherwise, the doctor visit fee or copay will be an additional cost.
  • According to a CDC fact sheet[4] , the HPV vaccine provides protection for at least five years, and more research is being done to see if it provides protection for longer. So, it is possible a booster shot will be needed.
  • Eligible children 18 and younger can get the HPV vaccination for free through the Vaccines for Children[5] program. Or, for eligible women older than 18, Merck offers Gardasil through its patient assistance program.
Shopping for human papillomavirus vaccine:
  • Check with your child's pediatrician or your family doctor. Or, many Planned Parenthood clinics offer HPV vaccination; Planned Parenthood[6] has a clinic locator by zip code.
  • Genital HPV is spread through sexual contact, so it is best for females to get vaccinated before they become sexually active.
  • HPV vaccination generally is considered safe, but side effects can include pain, swelling or redness at the injection site, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and fainting. It should not be given to pregnant women or to anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction to yeast or any component of the vaccine. The HPV vaccine is being tested for safety and effectiveness in males and in women over 26.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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