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chelle21689's avatar

Do you know anyone who has taken Gardasil and is fine?

Asked by chelle21689 (6742points) June 27th, 2014 from iPhone

I just had the shot today but then I found out online how so many people had serious complications and even death. Now I’m scared and thinking maybe I shouldn’t take the second dose. It seems like I can’t find any good comments on it…

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13 Answers

mastermustard's avatar

I don’t know anyone that has taken Gardasil and survived. -but then again, I don’t know anyone who has taken Gardasil and died either. I would guess that the vast majority of people given Gardasil survive, which is why it is legal to produce and use. Don’t dwell on it, if something happens it happens, but in all likelyhood it won’t.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I don’t know anyone personally, but extensive statistics are gathered about vaccines and the rates of side effects. Some statistics can be found here. Based off of the information in the article, with some math, there is a 0.0033% chance that a given dose will result in a serious adverse reaction.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Are you worried that you might get cervical cancer?
Is that why you are taking this drug?
I understand that the drug’s developer, Dr. Diane Harper, has stated that…” the HPV vaccines prevent abnormal pap tests, NOT cervical cancer.” (Whatever that means).

Seaofclouds's avatar

I had the Gardasil series in 2006, so 8 years ago now, and have not had any adverse effects from the vaccination. In regards to not being able to find any good comments on it, just remember people are more likely to talk about bad experiences than good ones and the people that haven’t had any problems have had no reason to do any research or post anything about adverse effects.

dappled_leaves's avatar

No one I know who has taken it has had any adverse effects. @PhiNotPi quoted a very comforting statistic. You’ve done a good thing by taking the vaccine, and protected you (and thus an extended network of people) from cancer by taking it. Be proud, not scared.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Dr. Harper is not the creator, she helped in clinical trial design and was a consultant. And what that means is that a pap test can come back either negative, or ‘abnormal’. Abnormal requires follow-up tests, which are frequently negative. Gardasil cuts down on false positive pap tests, and thus helps somewhat psychologically, but her contention is that screening protocols are already so good in developed countries that the vaccine itself doesn’t cut down too much on the rate.

The original statement is from this paper (thankfully not behind a paywall)

However, to the question, no, you’re probably quite safe. Literally millions of doses have been given out and the side effects are very low, no worse than any other vaccines, which are already one of our safest interventions.

Some more specific stats from the CDC (since I can’t see the above link, personally): “57 million doses of HPV vaccines were distributed and VAERS received approximately 22,000 adverse event reports occurring in girls and women who received HPV vaccines; 92% were classified as “non-serious””. Which leads to the .0033% chance stated above. But you should also know that VAERS is specifically set up to be biased towards the patient: to have a claim recognized, it must only hit certain criteria in a certain time period after administration, you don’t need to prove cause and effect. Which makes sense, if you’re having an adverse reaction the last thing you need is to go through a trial. But that does mean that the reactions are, by design, over-reported via VAERS. So actually you’re looking at lower than a .0033% chance, which is pretty darn good.

zenvelo's avatar

@chelle21689 Are you reading real reports or just anti vax/Michelle Bachmann stories? A few years ago (2011/2012) Michelle Bachmann told how a woman reported to her that her daughter had become mentally retarded. It was a false report, in other words, a lie.

Both my kids have had the series, both are fine.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Here is a Snopes article addressing myths about both the death rate and statements Dr. Harper is supposed to have made. But to answer your question: yes, I know quite a few people who have taken Gardasil with no adverse effects. And by “quite a few,” I mean “roughly 30.” A few are family, but most are friends of mine who are sexual health educators or people I’ve met through volunteer work with them.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I don’t know anyone who’s had any serious adverse effects from being vaccinated with Gardasil. Children are vaccinated against the HPV virus while at school here. This is a fact sheet from the Australian Government for health professionals. Here is another from the cancer council. The Cancer Council fact sheet particularly discusses risks from the drug.

I do however have a very close relative who had abnormal cervical cells and had to have surgery to remove them. I think the risk of exposure to the HPV virus and its potential health risks are more worrying than any side effects from Gardasil.

I think you should ensure you are reading information from reputable sources.

Mariah's avatar


The (rare) cases of complications get overhyped. The people who have a boring, normal time with it aren’t exactly running around shouting about it on the internet, are they?

nettodo's avatar

myself, also?
The risk is so small, it’s not worth caring about. Follow up with the series and don’t worry about it.

RocketGuy's avatar

From what I have gathered, HPV infection will increase the risk of cancer, so if Gardasil can prevent HPV infection then the risk of cervical cancer is reduced.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t think twice about it. The majority of people are fine.

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