Children in Grade 4
The vaccine against HPV infections is included in the Québec Immunization Program’s immunization schedule. The vaccine is offered for free to girls and to boys in Grade 4. The vaccine is given in Grade 4 for several reasons:
- The immune system responds better to HPV vaccines between the ages of 9 and 11. At this age, children are usually in Grade 4.
- Children should get vaccinated before they are exposed to the infection. Since HPV infections usually occur in the first years of sexual activity, children should ideally be given the vaccine before they become sexually active.
- The hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccination program is already offered to children in Grade 4. Giving the HPV and hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines at the same time in school means that parents do not have to go to a CLSC or see a doctor to have their children vaccinated.
- Two doses of the vaccine are enough to protect children in Grade 4 of primary school. After 18 years of age, three doses are needed.
- Vaccination is offered to boys and girls in order to provide direct and equitable protection to all children.
Under the Québec Immunization Program, the following people can also be vaccinated against HPV infections free of charge:
- Girls aged 9 to 17
- In Grade 4 of primary school or who have done Grade 4 since 2016-2017
- Aged 9 to 13 who are at risk of exposure to HPV
- In Secondary 3, when their immunization status is updated
- Aged 9 to 17 who attend rehabilitation centres for youth in difficulty, who are under the care of youth protection services or who are homeless.
- People aged 26 or under who:
- Have a weakened immune system
- Are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Men aged 26 or under who have or plan to have sex with men