Side Effects of the HPV Vaccine

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent a high-risk HPV infection. Some people might feel minor soreness at the spot on their arm where they get the injection, but it goes away fast.

Overall, the HPV vaccine has provided critical protection against high-risk HPV strains to millions of people worldwide. Gardasil is the most commonly administered vaccine suitable for males and females of all ages. The best part is that there are no known side effects from getting the vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is no riskier than taking any prescription medication or drug. A very small number of vaccine recipients may experience an anaphylactic reaction (allergic reaction), but the rate is about three out of every one million doses. If such a reaction does occur with a vaccine recipient, the professional vaccinator giving the vaccine has the necessary training to provide emergency assistance.

Do not believe the myths and propaganda about HPV vaccines worsening HPV infections. Study after study has shown that HPV vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing high-risk HPV infections and the potential diseases and symptoms associated with them, such as genital warts and cancer.

Adverse Side Effects to Receiving the HPV Vaccine?

 The most common side effects of any immunization procedure are minor pain, swelling, soreness, and redness at the vaccine injection site on your arm. The rarest side effects are fainting and vomiting, but most people do not experience them.

The vaccinator will advise you to stay seated for about 20 minutes after getting the HPV vaccine injection because it will reduce your risk of fainting and falling. Another way to prevent fainting is to eat a healthy breakfast and lunch on the day of the immunization. Also, wait about 24 hours before performing any high-intensity exercise.

Over the next couple of days, other potential adverse side effects might include a fever, aches, discomfort, headache, or skin rash.

Worth Getting the HPV Vaccine?

HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. People contract HPV from engaging in intimate skin-to-skin contact with other infected people. Most sexually active people will get an HPV infection at least once or more in their lifetimes.

For this reason, medical experts highly recommend that younger people receive the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 before entering their sexually active years. The HPV vaccine is always more effective in someone who has not been exposed to HPV yet.

The HPV vaccine can potentially protect you from high-risk HPV strains known to cause throat cancer, anal cancer, vaginal cancer, vulval cancer, cervical cancer, and penile cancer. Currently, no professional screening procedure exists to test for any of these HPV-related cancers other than cervical cancer. Some HPV tests exist but cannot detect all types of HPV infections.

The best preventative measure against an HPV infection is the HPV vaccine. Not only does the vaccine protect against cancer-causing HPV strains, but it can also prevent the HPV infections that cause genital warts.

Please note that all sexually active or HPV-infected women should undergo yearly pap smears (cervical cancer screenings). A pap smear can detect precancerous or cancerous cells in your cervix.

HPV Strains the HPV Vaccine Protects Me From?

The most commonly used HPV vaccine, Gardasil® 9, offers protection against HPV-6, HPV-11, HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-31, HPV-33, HPV-45, HPV-52, and HPV-58.

The HPV vaccine contains protein particles from HPV’s outer shell. These particles do not feature the DNA fragments that would cause an HPV infection. However, they can still replicate the HPV components that allow the immune system to produce protective antibodies against an HPV infection without needing to get infected first.

One HPV vaccine dosage is about 0.5 milliliters. Trace amounts of aluminum exist in this dosage because it helps enable an immune system response to the vaccine. Vaccine manufacturers have put trace amounts of aluminum in vaccines for over seven decades. The practice has proven to be safe and effective for recipients.

The HPV vaccine also has trace amounts of Polysorbate 80, L-histidine amino acid, salt (sodium chloride), sterile water, and sodium borate. However, it does not have any animal materials, human materials, preservatives, or antibiotics. Most people can feel good knowing this.

How Many Times Do I Need to Get the HPV Vaccine?

The HPV vaccine has the potential to offer lifelong protection against high-risk HPV strains. The average person only needs about 2 or 3 doses of the HPV vaccine to develop lifelong HPV protection. It all depends on your current age and health status.

The most important thing is to get vaccinated as early as possible, especially before engaging in risky sexual behavior and potentially exposing yourself to an HPV infection. The HPV vaccine becomes less effective if you have already gotten an HPV infection previously. But, regardless of vaccination status, women must undergo annual cervical cancer screenings to look for possible abnormal cell growth in their cervix.

Other Important Information About HPV Vaccines

Here are some more important facts and information to know about HPV vaccines:

  • Pregnant women should not get the HPV vaccine until after they have given birth
  • Vaccinated women who get pregnant should wait until giving birth before getting another vaccine dose
  • Accidental vaccination while pregnant still has a low risk of causing adverse effects for the baby. Talk to your doctor for more information and advice.
  • The ideal age to get the HPV vaccine is 11 or 12. It is the age when a person’s immune response to the vaccine is the most robust and effective.
  • The HPV vaccine is suitable for men and women because both genders are susceptible to an HPV infection.
  • The HPV vaccine can protect males against high-risk HPV infections known to cause throat cancer, anal cancer, and penile cancer.
  • No evidence suggests that HPV vaccines cause younger people to become more sexually active. Studies show that young girls are more likely to make responsible decisions about their sexual health if they get vaccinated.