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Is the HPV vaccine safe?

The HPV vaccine is very safe.

Over 110 million doses of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil 9, have been given as of September 2021. Gardasil 9 was studied in more than 13,000 females and males before it was released overseas. It is approved for females aged 9 to 45 years and males 9 to 26 years.

The original HPV vaccine (Gardasil) was tested on more than 20,000 females in 33 countries and 4,000 males in 18 countries before it was approved for use.

Over 460 million doses of HPV vaccine have been distributed worldwide (as of September 2021). The vaccine's safety is still (and will always be) closely monitored by scientific organisations around the world including the World Health Organization. In Australia any reports about vaccine side effects from doctors or the public, including after HPV vaccines, are regularly reviewed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. A program review published in 2021 found that HPV vaccines are safe and effective in Australia. In addition, parents of children receiving HPV vaccines are regularly surveyed by SMS afterwards to actively monitor their ongoing safety. These reports can be found on the AusVaxSafety website

After having the vaccine, you will be monitored for 15 minutes to make sure you don't have an allergic reaction. If an allergic reaction does occur, it can be treated quickly and successfully by the professional immunisation provider who is generally a nurse.

As with all vaccines, some people might experience mild side effects when they get the HPV vaccine. The most common are pain, redness and/or swelling at the site of injection. These usually pass quickly.

More severe side effects such as anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction) are extremely rare. They normally only happen if someone is allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine, such as yeast. Immunisation providers, such as doctors and nurses, who administer the vaccine are fully trained if an emergency response is required.

More information on side effects 

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Young male receiving HPV vaccine injection

The HPV vaccine is extremely safe and effective.

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 Cervical Screening Tests.