No serious adverse reactions to HPV vaccination

October 9, 2013

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and their Danish colleagues have monitored HPV-vaccinated girls via patient data registries in order to examine the incidence of a wide range of diseases and thus determine if there are any serious adverse effects of the vaccine. Their results show no significant increase of the examined diseases in the vaccinated girls relative to their unvaccinated peers.

The study included almost a million Swedish and Danish girls born between 1988 and 2000, and compared roughly 300,000 girls who had been HPV vaccinated with 700,000 who had not. All the girls were between 10 and 17 at time of vaccination, and the vaccines had been administered at some time between 2006 and 2010. The researchers then used patient registries in Denmark and Sweden to study the incidence of any serious of the vaccine.

The researchers examined 53 different diagnoses requiring hospital or specialist care, including blood clots, neurological diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes. They found that none of these diseases were more common in the vaccinated group than in the unvaccinated group. Mild adverse effects, such as temporary fever and swelling at the site of injection, were not studied however.

"You could see our study as part of a societal alarm system, and as such it did not alert us to any signs that HPV vaccination carries a risk of serious ," says Dr Lisen Arnheim-Dahlström, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet's Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. "We will, of course, be continuing to monitoring HPV vaccination in terms of both this and its efficacy over time."

In Sweden, HPV vaccination has been available through the general vaccination programme to between the ages of 11 and 12 since 2012. Over 120 million doses of the HPV used in Sweden (Gardasil) have been administered around the world. The majority of adverse effects reported to the Swedish Medical Products Agency have included fever, headache, local swelling at the site of injection and other mild reactions. However, as the present study did not consider data from primary care, such mild events do not appear in its results.

Explore further: HPV vaccination does not lead to an increase in sex

More information: "Autoimmune, neurologic, and venous thromboembolic adverse events following administration of a quadrivalent HPV-vaccine to adolescent girls: a cohort study in Denmark and Sweden", Lisen Arnheim-Dahlström, Björn Pasternak, Henrik Svanström, Pär Sparén and Anders Hviid, British Medical Journal, online 9 October 2013.

Related Stories

No change in HPV vaccine coverage for teen girls in 2012

July 30, 2013

(HealthDay)—In 2012 there was little increase in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among teenage girls, according to a report published in the July 26 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's ...

1 in 5 boys got HPV shot in first year recommended

August 29, 2013

A new report offers a first look at how many boys are getting shots designed to protect girls from cervical cancer. Health officials say the number getting vaccinated so far is a good start.

Recommended for you

Elephants provide big clue in fight against cancer

October 9, 2015

Carlo Maley spends his time pondering pachyderms—and cactuses and whales, and a wide array of non-human species—all in pursuit of the answer to this question: Why do some life forms get cancer while others do not?

Compound doubles up on cancer detection

October 8, 2015

Tagging a pair of markers found almost exclusively on a common brain cancer yields a cancer signal that is both more obvious and more specific to cancer, according to a study published last week in the Proceedings of the ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.