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Are there any side effects?

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.

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For every million doses of the vaccine given, there are only around 3 serious allergic reactions. These reactions can be treated.

Design and partial content reproduced with the kind permission of the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

The HPV vaccine is a prescription medicine. Medicines have benefits and risks. After reading this website, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of this vaccine and to check eligibility.

Females who have had the HPV vaccine still need regular Pap tests.