All medicines, including vaccines, can have side effects. The reactions people have had after the HPV vaccine have been similar to reactions after other vaccines.
The most common side effects of vaccination are pain, redness and/or swelling at the site of injection. These symptoms occur after around 4 in 5 vaccinations but are temporary and show that the immune system is responding to the vaccination. These symptoms can be treated with a cold pack or paracetamol if needed.
More severe side effects such as anaphylactic (allergic) reaction are extremely rare.
For every million doses of the vaccine given, there are only around 3 allergic reactions. This is similar to rates for other vaccines given to children and teens.
Allergic reactions normally happen within 10 minutes of having the injection, usually if you're allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine, such as yeast.
After your child has had the vaccine, they will be monitored for 15 minutes to make sure they don't have an allergic reaction.
If an allergic reaction does occur, it can be treated quickly and successfully – every immunisation nurse is trained and equipped to deal with such a reaction.
Reactions to the vaccine are monitored on an ongoing basis in Australia and internationally to establish whether they were caused by the vaccine or just chance association in time.
For this reason it's important to report any reactions you have to the vaccine to the person who gave you the injection or to your local doctor.
Statement on claims of premature menopausal side effects
We have recently become aware of an overseas group that has raised concerns about the quadrivalent HPV vaccine being associated with the very rare and poorly understood condition of premature menopause (also known as primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) and premature ovarian failure (POF)).
The claims circulating on social media, based on six cases since the widespread HPV vaccination program was implemented in 2007, have concerned some parents.
Over 200 million doses of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine have been administered worldwide, and there is no scientific or epidemiological evidence to suggest that the vaccine has caused these illnesses.
The World Health Organization, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, as well as many other experts, continue to recommend that the HPV vaccine be administered and promoted to prevent HPV-related disease and deaths.
It's important that parents get their health information from trusted and credible sources, like the Cancer Council and leading health organisations.
Read a detailed review of these claims in Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology