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What are the side effects of the HPV vaccine?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 7, 2023.

Official answer


Common side effects of the HPV vaccine include headache, fever, nausea, injection site reaction such as pain and redness, muscle pain, and tiredness.

The HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine protects against HPV, which has been shown to cause genital warts and a number of different cancers, including cancer of the cervix, anus, and vagina/vulva.

The HPV vaccine is recommended to be given to children at ages 11 or 12, as two doses, six to 12 months apart. However, it may be used in both males and females aged nine through to 45.

The most common side effects of the HPV vaccine are:

  • A headache
  • Cold-like symptoms
  • Fever
  • Gastrointestinal effects (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain)
  • Injection site reactions (such as pain, redness, itchiness, or swelling around the injection site)
  • Muscle, joint or back pain
  • Tiredness/fatigue.

Severe allergic reactions to the HPV vaccine are rare. People with a history of fainting after any vaccine should sit or lie down for 15 minutes following an HPV vaccination. The HPV vaccine has not been shown to harm fertility in either males or females.

See here for more information about the HPV vaccine.

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