HPV Vaccine – Facts, Facts & More Facts
HPV Vaccine Side Effects
How to Get the HPV Vaccine
Will Safe Sex Prevent HPV?
HPV & Cervical Screening
The vaccine is not different or special compared to other common vaccines. Extensive research with millions of participants shows that Gardasil does not increase the risk for any serious condition* and is very safe for all ages, male or female. As with all medicines and vaccines, extensive global ongoing surveillance continues to monitor safety.
Some myths have suggested that the vaccine made existing infections worse. This is not true. Studies show no worsening of pre-existing diseases. Ideally, the vaccine should be given before your first encounter with sexual activity because it does not treat an existing HPV infection.
Not only is the vaccine safe but it also offers long-lasting protection. Current data suggests the vaccine protection is ongoing, with no sign of waning. The mechanism of immune memory has been demonstrated, indicating that the vaccine will provide long-term protection, possibly for life.
HPV vaccine protects fertility. Studies show the same rate of pregnancy and births occur in vaccinated and unvaccinated women. In some cases, not being vaccinated can lead to adverse pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, prematurity or low birthweight related to the weakening of the cervix as a result of treatment for HPV disease.
No birth defects are associated with the vaccine. Specific congenital abnormalities reported in the clinical trials and subsequent studies are the same in both vaccinated and non-vaccinated groups. Extensive, ongoing research supports this.
There is no evidence that the HPV vaccine given at age 11 or 12 years has any bearing on when or how much your child becomes sexually active. In fact, research has shown that girls who have been vaccinated against HPV have subsequently made more responsible decisions regarding their sexual health compared to non-vaccinated girls. There are other vaccines given for infections associated with sexual transmission, e.g. Hepatitis B, and none of them influence the future sexual behaviour of the child who has it.
There is no evidence that immunity against the nine HPV types in the vaccine is associated with a changing prevalence of other HPV types.
The clinical trials included girls and boys aged from 9 years of age, who were tested for their immune response to the vaccine and followed up for safety.
It would have been unethical to have subjected girls to cervical smears at this younger age. The group who received the vaccine in early adolescence has now been followed as young adults, with no development of the HPV infections covered by the vaccine.
Aluminium is the most common metallic element on earth. Both aluminium adjuvant and saline were used as placebo vaccines in the trials. The incidence of systemic reactions was very low in both groups. Also, safety outcomes are the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. Aluminium is used in most vaccines and has an excellent safety record of over 80 years.
* As with any medication, vaccines carry an extremely rare risk of an anaphylactic reaction. The rate with Gardasil is around three per one million doses. Vaccinators are trained to manage these events.