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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Apr;21(4):425-32. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2011.2895. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Reported adverse events in young women following quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccination.

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The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Portland, OR 97227, USA.



To assess and describe young women's experiences with their first dose of quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV4) (Gardasil®) in a large managed care organization.


We collected survey and electronic medical record (EMR) data for 899 young women aged 11-26 receiving their first HPV4 injection from February through September 2008. Survey items included questions about adverse events, interactions with healthcare providers, and knowledge and attitudes toward HPV disease and HPV4.


Six hundred ninety-six (78%) participants reported pain at the injection site. Other common reactions included injection site bruising or discoloration (n=155, 17%) or swelling (n=127, 14%) and presyncope or syncope (n=134, 15%). Overall, preteens and teens were more likely than adult participants to report vaccine adverse events. Most respondents, particularly in the adult age group, reported that their healthcare provider reviewed important information about HPV infection and about the risks and benefits of receiving the vaccine. Knowledge and attitudes about HPV and HPV4 also varied by age, with older women generally exhibiting more accurate knowledge about HPV and perceived susceptibility to cervical cancer.


There were significant age differences in young women's experiences with their first HPV4 injection. These findings highlight the importance of age-appropriate education and provider communications about HPV disease and vaccination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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