HPV Vaccine Side Effects

Gardasil 9® protects against nine types of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer and genital warts. The most common HPV vaccine side effects are injection-site pain and swelling, headache, and fever.

What are HPV vaccine names?

Picture of Gardasil 9 HPV Vaccine VialGardasil 9® is the only HPV vaccine that is sold in the United States. It is made by Merck & Co. and approved in 2014.

Gardasil 9 has replaced two other HPV vaccines, the original Gardasil® and Cervarix®. These other HPV vaccines are no longer sold in the United States.

The original Gardasil is no longer used because it only protects against four types of HPV, rather than nine types in Gardasil 9. Cervarix only protected against two types of HPV.

How is the vaccine given?

Gardasil 9 is given in a series of two or three injections (0.5-mL) in the upper arm. The immunization schedule is as follows:

  • Age 9 through 14 years: 2-dose (0 month, 6-12 month schedule)
  • Age 9 through 14 years: 3-dose (0 month, 2 month, 6 month schedule)
  • Age 15 through 26 years: 3-dose (0 month, 2 month, 6 month schedule)

If the 2nd dose is given earlier than 5 months after the 1st dose, administer a 3rd dose at least 4 months after the 2nd dose.

Can the vaccine cause HPV?

No. Gardasil 9 is a non-infectious vaccine prepared from purified virus-like particles of HPV Types 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58.

What are common side effects?

  • Injection-site pain, swelling, redness
  • Fever
  • Bruising
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea

What are severe side effects?

  • Allergic reaction
  • Fever
  • Asthma attack
  • Severe headache (migraine)
  • Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

What other side effects have been reported?

The following side effects have been reported in people who received Gardasil 9, but it is unknown if they were caused by the vaccine:

  • Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Arthralgia
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Anaphylactic / anaphylaxis reactions
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia
  • Asthenia
  • Bronchospasm
  • Cellulitis
  • Chills
  • Death
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura
  • Lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes)
  • Malaise
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Myalgia
  • Nausea
  • Pancreatitis
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Syncope with tonic-clonic limb movements and seizure-like activity, sometimes resulting in falling with injury
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Urticara
  • Vomiting

Where can I get more information?

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