While many vaccines have been administered to the public for decades, there are a few immunizations that protect people from recently-identified infections. One of these relatively new vaccines is the human papillomavirus (HPV) injection, which prevents cervical cancer and many other strains of deadly cancers.
What Is Human Papillomavirus?
Roughly 14 million people are infected with HPV every year, most commonly through sexual contact. HPV is very common, with nearly 90 percent of the population suffering an infection at some point in their lives. While most of these infections resolve themselves without causing serious problems, some HPV infections can lead to the development of certain cancers. The vaccine has been lauded for its ability to reduce the rate of cervical cancer, which affects over 12,000 women nationwide each year.
The HPV vaccine not only protects against cervical cancer, but reduces the likelihood of many medical conditions in both men and women, including:
- Vaginal and vulvar cancer
- Anal cancer
- Penile cancer
- Throat cancer
- Genital warts
Which Patients Typically Get Vaccinated for HPV?
The vaccine Gardasil protects against HPV types 6, 11, 16, and 18, and was approved by the FDA in 2006. In 2014, the FDA approved Gardasil 9, which protects against an additional five types of HPV: types 6, 11, 16, 18, 31, 33, 45, 52, and 58. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend either form of the medication for use in both girls and boys under 26 years old.
The vaccine can be administered to patients as early as age 9 years old, but is typically given around 11 or 12 years old. Patients 9 through 14 years old will need a series of two doses separated by six months, while those over 15 years old will need three doses over the course of six months.
Some patients are advised against getting the HPV vaccine, such as pregnant women. However, women who are breastfeeding may be vaccinated with no expected difficulties. Those who are moderately to severely ill should wait until they are healthy before receiving the vaccine. Finally, patients who have a yeast allergy or are allergic to any of the components of the HPV vaccine should not get the immunization, and anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to a prior dose of HPV vaccine should not receive another dose.
Known Side Effects of the Gardasil Vaccination for HPV
Most patients tolerate the HPV vaccination without any serious side effects. However, Gardasil and Gardasil 9 have been associated with adverse reactions in rare cases, including:
- Fever. Approximately 1 in 10 patients will suffer a mild fever after injection, with about 1 patient out of every 65 suffering a temperature over 102°F.
- Shoulder pain. Some patients suffer intense shoulder pain and soreness at the injection site and have difficulty moving their arm for several days. About one out every three patients vaccinated will experience temporary redness or swelling at the injection site.
- Headache. About one out of every three patients who receive the vaccine experience headaches the following day. These usually pass without incident, but patients are advised to return to the doctor if they feel dizzy, suffer vision changes, or hear a ringing in their ears.
- Dizziness. Vaccine administration can cause patients to feel faint and can cause fall injuries in some cases. Patients are advised to sit or lie down for several minutes after injection to reduce the risk of losing consciousness.
- Allergic reaction. About one in a million patients experience allergic reactions to the HPV vaccine that can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after immunization. Severe allergic reactions are rare, but may include difficulty breathing, swelling of the tongue and throat, hives, increased heart rate, and body weakness.
Shannon Law Group is proud to represent vaccine injury victims from any state in the U.S., making it easy for those who have suffered to get compensation. If you have experienced serious and long-lasting side effects as a result of the HPV vaccine, you may be eligible for payment through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) or by filing a vaccine injury lawsuit. Simply fill out our online contact form today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys to see if you qualify for payment for your medical bills, lost income, and unnecessary suffering.