Reported adverse events in girls aged 13-16 years after vaccination with the human papillomavirus (HPV)-16/18 vaccine in the Netherlands

Vaccine. 2011 Jun 20;29(28):4601-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.04.050. Epub 2011 May 5.


In 2009, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination was offered to girls born in 1993-1996 in a catch-up campaign, followed in 2010 by the implementation of the vaccination in the National Immunization Programme (NIP) for girls born in 1997. To monitor the tolerability of the 2009 catch-up campaign, we investigated the occurrence of adverse events within 7 days after vaccination with the bivalent HPV vaccine. A total of 6000 girls were asked to participate, including 1500 from each birth cohort from 1993 to 1996. One week after each of the required three successive doses, the participants received by e-mail a Web-based questionnaire focused on local reactions and systemic events. One or more questionnaires were returned by 4248 girls. Any local reaction was reported by 92.1% of the girls after the first dose, 79.4% after the second dose, and 83.3% after the third dose, and 91.7%, 78.7%, and 78.4% reported any systemic event after the three doses, respectively. Pain in the arm was the most frequently reported local reaction, of which 24.0%, 11.7%, and 14.7% was classified as pronounced. Myalgia was the most often reported systemic event. The proportion of local reactions and most systemic events was significantly lower after the second and third dose compared with the first dose (Odds ratio [OR], 0.33-0.76). Older girls reported a higher proportion of adverse events than younger girls. After vaccination with the bivalent HPV vaccine, girls 13-16 years of age reported a high proportion of short-term adverse events. These are maximum estimates and not necessarily caused by the vaccination itself. Although, girls experienced HPV vaccination as painful, no serious or unexpected adverse events were reported. The results of this survey are being communicated to health care workers and the public.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adverse Drug Reaction Reporting Systems
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Human papillomavirus 16 / immunology*
  • Human papillomavirus 18 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Netherlands
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vaccination / adverse effects*
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines