Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections cause high disease burden. Primary prevention by vaccination is a major breakthrough. HPV vaccines are well tolerated and safe. Vaccines protect unexposed individuals against high-grade CIN and VIN/VaIN caused by the vaccine HPV types. Vaccines also provide protection against related oncogenic HPV types. The primary target population is young adolescents before their sexual debut. Catch-up vaccination policy up to age 26 may facilitate long-term health benefits but should not divert resources from vaccinating the primary target population or from effective cervical cancer screening programmes. Health benefits of vaccinating older age groups beyond age 26 are unknown.

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