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HPV vaccine side effects

The most common side effects of the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine include swelling, redness and pain at the site of the injection, and headaches - although these usually do not last very long.

Very common side effects of the HPV vaccine

More than 1 in 10 people who have the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine experience:

  • injection site problems such as pain, swelling and redness. This is the most common side effect and usually wears off within a few days
  • headaches

Common side effects

Up to 1 in 10 people who have the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine experience:

  • bruising, and itching at the injection site
  • a high temperature or feeling hot
  • feeling sick
  • tiredness
  • dizziness

Rare side effects

Less than 1 in 1000 people who have the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine experience

  • allergic reaction

Other side effects

Sometimes people feel dizzy or may faint after being given a vaccine.

If you feel anxious or are prone to fainting let the person who is giving your vaccine know. They may keep you to observe you for a bit to reduce the risk of you fainting and hurting yourself.

If you feel unwell or have concerns about a side effect after having the HPV vaccine, seek medical advice. If you feel very ill, get medical help straight away. Contact your prescriber, pharmacist or nurse.

Allergic reactions

Very rarely, some people have a severe allergic reaction, called an anaphylactic reaction, straight after HPV vaccination.

If a person has a severe allergic reaction, the healthcare professional giving the vaccine will be fully trained in how to deal with it. 

Individuals recover completely with treatment, usually within a few hours.

If you are with someone and they start to experience the symptoms of anaphylaxis, dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance.

Reporting side effects

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any medicine you are taking including vaccines. It is run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

You can report suspected side effects online at or by downloading the Yellow Card app or calling 0800 731 6789 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Reporting suspected side effects is important. It allows continued monitoring of a vaccine's safety.



Last Updated: 13/03/2023 13:48:34
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website