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What are the side effects of taking the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

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In clinical trials and in real-world use, the HPV vaccine appears to be very safe. More than 40 million doses of the vaccine -- mostly Gardasil, which was approved in 2006 -- have been given in the U.S. Gardasil 9 was approved in 2014.

From 2006 to 2014, there were about 25,000 reports to the government of HPV vaccine side effects. More than 90% of these were classified as non-serious. The most common side effects of the HPV vaccine are minor:

  • About one in 10 people will have a mild fever after the injection.
  • About one person in 30 will get itching at the injection site.
  • About one in 60 people will experience a moderate fever.

From: HPV Vaccine for Adults WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC web site: ''Cervical Cancer Statistics,'' ''HPV Vaccine -- Questions & Answers;'' ''Genital HPV Infection --Fact Sheet;'' ''ACIP Recommendations on HPV;'' ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV);''  "HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer - Fact Sheet;" and "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," June 25, 2014.

National Cancer Institute web site: ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.''

Merck web site: Gardasil package insert prescribing information.

GlaxoSmithKline web site: Cervarix package insert prescribing information.

Koutsky, L. , 1997. The American Journal of Medicine

Syrjanen, K. 1990. Sexually Transmitted Diseases,

FDA: "FDA approves Gardasil 9 for prevention of certain cancers caused by five additional types of HPV."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on March 31, 2019

SOURCES:

CDC web site: ''Cervical Cancer Statistics,'' ''HPV Vaccine -- Questions & Answers;'' ''Genital HPV Infection --Fact Sheet;'' ''ACIP Recommendations on HPV;'' ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV);''  "HPV and Oropharyngeal Cancer - Fact Sheet;" and "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report," June 25, 2014.

National Cancer Institute web site: ''Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines.''

Merck web site: Gardasil package insert prescribing information.

GlaxoSmithKline web site: Cervarix package insert prescribing information.

Koutsky, L. , 1997. The American Journal of Medicine

Syrjanen, K. 1990. Sexually Transmitted Diseases,

FDA: "FDA approves Gardasil 9 for prevention of certain cancers caused by five additional types of HPV."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on March 31, 2019

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What are the mild-to-moderate side effects of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine?

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