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HPV is a group of viruses that may cause diseases in adulthood, like certain cancers and pre-cancerous cell changes. These types of cancers happen when the immune system can’t clear up infections caused by the high-risk types of HPV.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is common and spreads easily. Many people don’t know they are infected with HPV because infections don’t usually cause any symptoms and most of them just clear up on their own. The virus moves from person to person through close skin-to-skin contact. Although most HPV infections go away on their own, some types may cause infections that increase the risk of certain HPV-related cancers.

Vaccination can help reduce the risk of your child developing certain HPV-related cancers in the future, by protecting them against the HPV virus. School-aged children can receive their vaccination while in school so that they can be protected against HPV-related cancers. Find out more about HPV at

Boys and girls aged 12, usually while they’re in year 8, are offered HPV vaccination at school as part of the NHS National Vaccination Programme. You will be informed by your child’s school when the vaccination sessions are coming up. If your child missed theirs when they were in year 8, they might still be able to get it. You can check whether your child can get the HPV vaccine here.