History of the Program

1980

HPV was identified as the cause of cervical cancer. As a result of this discovery, work was undertaken to develop a HPV vaccine and lasted many years. 

2006

A first vaccine against 4 types of HPV was approved for use in Canada and other countries. Before it was approved, the vaccine was tested on over 43 000 women in many parts of the world.  

2007

A vaccine against 2 types of HPV was approved. 

2008

The HPV Vaccination Program was launched. Under the program, girls in Grade 4 of primary school are vaccinated free of charge.  

A catch-up program was launched. Under this program, girls under 18 years of age could also get vaccinated free of charge at school (Secondary 3) or at their CLSC.

2010

Two other client groups were included in the program:

  • Women aged 26 or younger who have a weakened immune system
  • Women infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

The HPV vaccine Gardasil was approved for men. 

2013

The catch-up program for girls in Secondary 3 was completed. However, vaccination continued to be offered to non-vaccinated girls when their vaccination record was updated. 

2015

A vaccine against 9 types of HPV was approved.

2014

Two other client groups were included in the program:

  • Men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Men who have or who intend to have sex with men

2016

Boys in Grade 4 of primary school were added to the free vaccination program. This decision was based on scientific data and studies which showed that:

  • The consequences of HPV infection in men were greater than was previously thought
  • Vaccination in men is safe and effective

Another client group was included in the program, namely, men aged 26 or younger who have a weakened immune system.

2017

71 countries introduced the HPV vaccine into their immunization schedule for girls, while 11 countries also offered HPV vaccination to boys. 

All Canadian provinces have a free school-based HPV vaccination program for girls and boys. The procedure for getting vaccinated and the eligibility criteria may, however, vary across provinces.

2018

The HPV Vaccination Program includes one dose of Gardasil 9 followed, 6 months later, by one dose of Cervarix.