New research on HPV vaccine

By Britney Glaser - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Centers for Disease Control says one in four women are infected with HPV - the human papillomavirus that can cause cervical cancer.  For women ages 20-24, almost half are infected.  The HPV vaccine has been touted as a means to prevent many types of HPV.  But what are the side effects of the vaccine?

These are the findings published in this month's Journal of the American Medical Association:

*The human papillomavirus (or HPV) vaccine is approved for females between the ages of 9 and 26 to prevent infections that may lead to cervical cancer and genital warts. National distribution of the HPV vaccine began in June 2006 and the "Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System" run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA, began tracking health problems voluntarily reported following vaccinations.

Dr. Barbara Slade with the CDC says, "For 23 million doses that have been sent out, we've received 12,424 reports of adverse events in the VAERS system."  Dr. Slade led research analyzing all VAERS reports for the HPV vaccine through the end of 2008.

The study classified 772 of the reports or about six percent as "serious" - including 32 deaths. Fainting topped the list of overall adverse events, with nearly 1,900 episodes reported - 93 with serious consequences.

"If people faint, they can fall, hit their head, have a concussion, break a bone," says Dr. Slade.  Other adverse events commonly reported included dizziness, nausea, headaches and injection-site reactions.

As with all vaccines licensed in the U.S., safety monitoring through VAERS will continue indefinitely.

**To find out where Louisiana stands with legislation on this topic, click here.

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