Safety of human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine for cervical cancer prevention: a pooled analysis of 11 clinical trials

Hum Vaccin. 2009 May;5(5):332-40. doi: 10.4161/hv.5.5.7211. Epub 2009 May 20.


A pooled analysis of the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix (GlaxoSmithKline) was performed in a cohort of almost 30,000 girls and women aged > or =10 years, 16,142 who received at least one dose of the HPV-16/18 vaccine and 13,811 who received one of three controls [Al(OH)(3) or hepatitis A vaccine (720 or 360 EU)]. Data are available for a total of 45,988 vaccine doses. Solicited local and general symptoms were recorded for seven days after each dose. Serious adverse events (SAEs), pregnancies, medically significant conditions (MSCs) and new onset of chronic diseases (NOCDs), including new onset of autoimmune diseases (NOADs), were proactively monitored. Data were analyzed by vaccine group according to age (10-14, 15-25 and >25 years) and reporting period (months 0-7, months 7-12 and >month 12). Rates of solicited local and general symptoms were higher in the HPV-16/18 vaccine group than in the control groups. However, compliance with the three-dose schedule was high and did not differ between groups (93.4% for HPV-16/18 vaccine group versus 92.5% for pooled controls). No clinically relevant differences were seen between the HPV-16/18 vaccine and pooled control groups in rates of SAEs (2.8% versus 3.1%), MSCs (19.4% versus 21.4%), NOCDs (1.7% in both groups) or NOADs (0.4% versus 0.3%). Similarly, no differences in pregnancy outcomes or rates of withdrawals due to AEs or SAEs were observed between groups. In conclusion, analysis of this large database shows the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted cervical cancer vaccine to have a favorable safety profile in women of all ages.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / immunology*
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines
  • human papillomavirus vaccine, L1 type 16, 18