HPV vaccination service
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is very common. Where it may be harmless most of the time, it can lead to more serious illness and disease. Find out everything you need to know about HPV and the vaccine that can help protect you against it.

How many doses of the HPV vaccine do I need?

If you’re under 25, you only need one 0.5ml dose of the HPV vaccine. If you receive the vaccine before the age of 25, you won’t need any more doses. Book a single dose.

If you’re between the ages of 25 and 45 and you haven’t been vaccinated against HPV, you will need two 0.5ml doses of the HPV vaccine. Once you’ve had your first dose of the HPV vaccine, you should have your second dose six to 24 months after your first dose. If you don’t manage to get your second dose within 24 months, get your second vaccination anyway. Don’t get an extra dose. Book two doses.

If you have HIV or you’re immunocompromised, you will need three 0.5ml doses of the HPV vaccine. The second dose should be given at least one month after the first dose. The third dose should be given at least three months after the second dose. You should ideally have all three doses within 12 months. If you don’t manage to get all doses within 12 months, continue with the course anyway, but don’t repeat doses. Book three doses.

What is HPV?

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a very common virus. Over 170 different versions have been identified.

It’s also thought that nearly everyone will get an HPV infection at some point in their lives. It is usually harmless. In most cases, your immune system will clear the infection naturally and you won’t experience any symptoms.

Sometimes the HPV infection can survive and live in your body, resulting in serious symptoms and diseases, like genital warts and cervical cancer.

How can I protect myself against HPV?

You can reduce your chances of catching an HPV infection by using condoms. This won’t protect you completely because the virus can live on skin around the genitals that isn’t covered by a condom.

The best way to protect yourself against HPV is to have an HPV vaccine. The vaccine gives you lasting protection against 9 of the most common types of HPV.

What is the HPV vaccine?

The vaccine contains parts of the HPV virus but not the entire virus. This means the vaccine can’t give you the infection but allows your immune system to develop the antibodies to kill the virus. If an HPV virus tries to infect you after you’ve been vaccinated, your body will already have the defences to stop it.

It’s best to have the HPV vaccine before you become sexually active. You can also benefit from an HPV vaccine at an older age. This is because there are many types of HPV virus and the vaccine can protect you even if you’ve already been infected by some of them.

Find out more about HPV
What are the symptoms of HPV?

Nearly everyone gets an HPV infection at some point in their life. In most cases there are no signs or symptoms, so you might not realise that you have (or have had) it. Your immune system clears the infection, so it goes away on its own.

But if an HPV infection doesn’t go away, it can lead to more serious symptoms and complications. These include:

  • Warts on your skin
  • Warts on and around your genitals and anus (genital warts)
  • Cervical cancer
  • Cancer of the vagina, cervix, penis, and anus
  • Cancer of the mouth, tonsils, and throat.
How do you catch HPV?

HPV infections are most often caught through sexual skin-to-skin contact. The longer skin is in contact, the more of a chance the virus has to spread to the other person. Although sex is the most common method of transmission, HPV can be transmitted by other skin-to-skin contact, or even through contact with infected objects. However, this is very rare.

HPV can be spread by any form of sexual contact, but vaginal and anal sex are the most common ways this happens. HPV can also be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy.

Who is the Well HPV vaccination service suitable for?

Our HPV vaccination service is suitable for both males and females between the ages of 9 and 45. You can have the vaccine as long as you:

  • haven’t already had the full course of the HPV vaccine
  • aren’t pregnant
  • haven’t had an allergic reaction to a vaccine before
  • don’t have a temperature on the day of your appointment.

You need to be over the age of 18 to book your own vaccination appointment but a parent or legal guardian can book the appointment for you if you're under 18. They will also need to come with you to your appointment.

Who is most at risk of HPV?

Anyone can be infected with HPV, but you’re most likely to catch it if you are or have been sexually active. Those most at risk include people who:

  • Have had multiple sexual partners
  • Have had a sexual partner who has had multiple sexual partners
  • Have weakened immune systems.
How much does it cost?
Each dose of the vaccine costs £160. How many doses you need will depend on your age and health circumstances.
Can I book for other people?

You can book HPV vaccination appointments for up to four people. You will all attend the same appointment and your group will need to arrive at the pharmacy at the same time.

Please note:

  • If any other people in your booking are aged 18 or over, you will need to have their consent to book the appointment on their behalf.
  • If anyone in your booking is under 18, you will need to provide their legal guardian’s details and they must be accompanied to the appointment by their legal guardian.

You can also book for other people if you’re not getting a vaccine. We will ask for your details and contact information to manage the booking.

What if I need to cancel my appointment?
We’ll send you an appointment confirmation email with contact details for the pharmacy. Please call the pharmacy as soon as you can to let them know if you can’t make it to your appointment. They’ll be able to help you if you need to reschedule.
Where can I find out more?

If you have other questions, or you would like to talk to someone face-to-face, then our pharmacists are happy to answer any questions you have about the HPV vaccine.

Where can I find a vaccination clinic near me?

We operate 760 local pharmacies across the UK. Find your nearest Well pharmacy.

Find a pharmacy