The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most often cause cervical, vaginal,vulvar and anal cancers. It is recommended for preteens (both boys and girls) aged 11 to 12 years, but can be given as early as age 9 and until age 47. The vaccine is given in a series of either two or three shots, depending on age. It’s important to note that even women who are vaccinated against HPV need to have regular Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer.