Children in Grade 4 of primary school and Secondary 3
The vaccine against HPV infections is included in the Québec Immunization Program’s immunization schedule. The vaccine is offered for free to children in Grade 4 (Gardasil® 9) and in Secondary 3 (Cervarix®). There are several reasons for choosing to begin VPH vaccination in Grade 4 of primary school:
- 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 at least one dose of HPV vaccine 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 B vaccine is already offered at school to children in Grade 4. Giving the HPV vaccine at the same time means that parents do not have to go to a CLSC or see a doctor to have their children vaccinated.
- When started in Grade 4 of primary school, HPV vaccination comprises only 2 doses of vaccine. After 18 years of age, 3 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