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Side effects of the HPV vaccine

The HPV vaccine is very safe. If any side effects are reported, they are usually common ones that may happen shortly after any injection.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is responsible for making sure that vaccines are safe, which includes collecting and reporting on information from healthcare professionals and people who have had the vaccine.

Very common side effects

More than 1 in 10 people who have the HPV vaccine have:

  • redness, swelling or pain at the injection site – this should get better after a few days
  • a headache, but it should not last long.

Common side effects

More than 1 in 100, but less than 1 in 10, people who have the HPV vaccine have:

  • bruising or itching at the injection site
  • a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery (fever)
  • sickness (nausea)
  • painful arms, hands, fingers, legs feet or toes.

Rare side effects

About 1 in 10,000 people who have the HPV vaccine have:

  • an itchy red rash (hives).

Very rare side effects

Fewer than 1 in 10,000 people who have the HPV vaccine have:

  • difficulty breathing and restricted airways.

Other side effects

After the HPV vaccine, some people may:

  • feel dizzy or faint – it can help to sit or lie down for 15 minutes after the vaccine.

Some people have reported other side effects, but because these don’t come from controlled clinical studies, we can’t say how often they happen or to how many people.

Most symptoms are the type reported shortly after any vaccination (jab or jag). But if you feel very ill, it is important to speak with a doctor straight away.

More information and support

NHS Choices, NHS Scotland  and NI Direct have more information about any side effects of the HPV vaccine.

Show references

  1. NHS Choices, HPV vaccine side effects, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/hpv-vaccine-cervarix-gardasil-side-effects/ [Accessed: April 2018].



Date last updated: 
23 Jul 2018
Date due for review: 
13 Sep 2019

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