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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

UNITED STATES: Preteens More Likely to Report HPV Vaccine Side Effects (Birmingham, Alabama) (04.06.12) - Wednesday,

A survey of almost 900 females ages 11-26 within two weeks of receiving the Gardasil human papillomavirus vaccine found that preteen girls were more likely to report side effects from the immunization. Younger patients also were more likely to have been given other vaccinations - against hepatitis A, tetanus and the like - at the same time as Gardasil.

In total, 78 percent of females surveyed reported pain when receiving the vaccine, 17 percent bruising or discoloration, 14 percent swelling at the injection site, and 15 percent dizziness. One percent fainted.

Pain at injection site was reported by 84 percent of girls ages 11-12, compared with 74 percent for women ages 18-26. Dizziness after vaccination was reported by 19 percent of 11- to 12-year-olds, versus 8 percent for 18- to 26-year-old women.

Allison Naleway, lead author of the CDC-funded study and senior investigator with Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., said better HPV vaccine education is needed. "Our study found that young girls do have some knowledge about the vaccine, but they need to know more. If these girls and their parents know what to expect, they will likely be less afraid of getting the vaccine," she said.

While most surveyed knew Gardasil is given in three injections and prevents cervical cancer, many did not know it also can protect against genital warts and abnormal Pap smears.

"Reported Adverse Events in Young Women Following Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccination" was published in the Journal of Women's Health (2012;doi:10.1089/jwh.2011.2895).


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