HPV vaccine Gardasil safe; no evidence of serious adverse effects: Health Canada

A child health nurse holds up a vial and box for the HPV vaccine, brand name Gardasil, at a clinic in Kinston, N.C. in a March 5, 2012 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Daily Free Press, Charles Buchanan

TORONTO – Health Canada says a review of international research data suggests the HPV vaccine Gardasil can be safely used and there are no new safety risks associated with its use.

Gardasil is approved for use in Canada and more than 100 other countries around the world to protect against four types of human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Those four strains cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers, 90 per cent of genital warts and up to 90 per cent of anal cancers.

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Health Canada launched a review of Gardasil’s safety earlier this year in response to media reports of autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases among those vaccinated with the drug.

The federal department found no evidence of an increased risk of autoimmune or cardiovascular diseases, and says its findings are in line with recent international reports on the vaccine’s safety.

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Almost two million Canadians have been vaccinated with Gardasil since its approval in 2006. About 1,800 reported side-effects following vaccination, including dizziness, nausea, headache, fever, and pain and swelling at the injection site.

The vaccine is recommended for girls and women aged nine to 45 and boys and men nine to 26 to prevent cancers and genital warts caused by the sexually transmitted virus.

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