HPV vaccine study

The Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research released a study this week examining the side effects of the HPV vaccine.

Researchers surveyed about 900 girls and young women, ages 11 to 26, within the two weeks after they received the Gardasil vaccine.

The study found that younger girls are more likely than adult women to report side effects after receiving the human papillomavirus vaccine.

Of the respondents 78 percent reported pain when receiving the vaccine, 17 percent reported bruising or discoloration, 14 percent said they had swelling at the injection site, 15 percent reported dizziness, and 1 percent of the girls reported fainting.

“These side effects are non-serious and very manageable,” said Dr. Mike Wilmington, a Kaiser pediatrician in Vancouver. “The main complaint I hear about is pain with the injection, but there are ways to lessen the pain. Some girls will feel dizzy after this and other vaccines, so I follow CDC guidelines and have them sit or lie down for a few minutes after receiving the vaccine.”

The study also found that while most girls and young women knew the vaccine can prevent cervical cancer and that three doses are recommended, many didn’t know that the vaccine can also prevent genital warts and abnormal pap smears.

The study appears in the Journal of Women’s Health and on the Center for Health Research website.

The website also includes a brief video about the study. A Vancouver girl, Addie, and her mother, Brenda, are featured in the video.

Addie’s physician, Dr. Sara Bell, who is also in the video, works at the Orchards clinic.

Since 2006, the CDC has recommended Gardasil for girls ages 11-12, and for older girls and women, ages 13-26, who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger.

The CDC also recently recommended Gardasil for boys ages 11-12 and for older boys and men, ages 13-21, who did not receive the vaccine when they were younger.

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