Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2015 May;14(5):697-712.
doi: 10.1517/14740338.2015.1013532. Epub 2015 Feb 18.

Safety of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines: A Review

Free PMC article

Safety of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines: A Review

Michela Stillo et al. Expert Opin Drug Saf. .
Free PMC article


Introduction: Between 2006 and 2009, two different human papillomavirus virus (HPV) vaccines were licensed for use: a quadrivalent (qHPVv) and a bivalent (bHPVv) vaccine. Since 2008, HPV vaccination programmes have been implemented in the majority of the industrialized countries. Since 2013, HPV vaccination has been part of the national programs of 66 countries including almost all countries in North America and Western Europe. Despite all the efforts made by individual countries, coverage rates are lower than expected. Vaccine safety represents one of the main concerns associated with the lack of acceptance of HPV vaccination both in the European Union/European Economic Area and elsewhere.

Areas covered: Safety data published on bivalent and quadrivalent HPV vaccines, both in pre-licensure and post-licensure phase, are reviewed.

Expert opinion: Based on the latest scientific evidence, both HPV vaccines seem to be safe. Nevertheless, public concern and rumors about adverse events (AE) represent an important barrier to overcome in order to increase vaccine coverage. Passive surveillance of AEs is an important tool for detecting safety signals, but it should be complemented by activities aimed at assessing the real cause of all suspect AEs. Improved vaccine safety surveillance is the first step for effective communication based on scientific evidence.

Keywords: adverse events; human papillomavirus; safety; vaccine.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 25 articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. WHO 2012 Available from: [Cited 17 December 2014]
    1. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control . Introduction of HPV vaccines in European Union countries - an update. 2012.
    1. CDC Centre for disease prevention and control 2014 USA. Available from: Updated 2014]
    1. EMA 2014 Update on. Available from: Updated 6 October 2014]
    1. Gamble HL, Klosky JL, Parra GR, Randolph ME. Factors influencing familial decision-making regarding human papillomavirus vaccination. J Pediatr Psychol. 2010;35(7):704–15. - PMC - PubMed

MeSH terms