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Your Questions About the HPV Vaccine

Is this vaccination safe?

Vaccines have to be rigorously tested before they can be widely distributed. Both HPV vaccines were tested on thousands of people and shown to be safe before they were released to the public. These vaccines have been used for years now, and experts say the chance of them causing a serious reaction is very slim. The HPV vaccine does not contain mercury or the preservative thimerosal.


Is there any reason why I shouldn't get this vaccine?

Some people shouldn’t get the vaccine. You definitely don't want to get the HPV vaccine if you've had a serious allergic reaction to it or to any of its components. Let your doctor know if you have any severe allergies to anything, including baker's yeast or latex. Also, talk to your doctor if you have an immune system problem or blood disorder.

If you're pregnant, you'll want to wait to get the HPV vaccine until after your baby is born. In studies, HPV vaccines have not been found to cause any problems in babies whose mothers got the vaccine while pregnant, but pregnant women should not get HPV vaccine, as safety studies are still ongoing.

Could I have side effects from the HPV vaccine?

You could have side effects, but they should be mild. Most people who complain of symptoms after getting the HPV shot have minor issues like pain or swelling at the site of the shot, fever, headache, and nausea.   

Sometimes people faint after getting the HPV vaccine or any other vaccination. Sitting down after getting the shot can help prevent you from passing out.  

If I get the HPV vaccine, is there a chance I could get HPV?

No. The part of the HPV virus used in both vaccines is inactivated (not live), so it can't cause actual HPV infection.  


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 20, 2013

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