The human papillomavirus vaccine was first approved by the FDA in 2006, and like most vaccines, it can have potentially serious side effects.
More Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Information
The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been controversial from the start, mainly due to disease it is designed to prevent. However, some of the controversy centers around the vaccine’s potential side effects. Two HPV vaccines are currently on the market: Gardasil and Cervarix. The vaccine is designed to prevent infection of certain types of HPV, those most closely associated with the development of cervical cancer, genital warts, and some other forms of cancers. Government health official and doctors both recommend the vaccine for 11- and 12-year-old girls. The vaccine is given in series of three shots. By the end of 2007, studies showed that about one fourth of females 13–17 years old had received at least one of the three HPV vaccine shots. The vaccine is also available for boys of the same age range, but is much more rarely used.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of January 31, 2010, there were almost 16.000 reports of adverse events following Gardasil vaccination. Roughly 6% were determined to be serious. Serious adverse events are defined by the CDC as those that involve hospitalization, permanent disability, life-threatening illness, or death. Some of the serious adverse events reported include Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), blood clots and even death. Blood clots in the heart, lungs and legs were reported after vaccination.