HPV vaccine side effects – unrelated to chronic fatigue syndrome

The list of HPV vaccine side effects is long and, on the surface, very troubling. But study after study, some of them with millions of patients, have found that the vaccine is extremely safe, and the side effects attributed to the vaccine occur at the same rate between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Now, there is a large new study in Norway that examined another hypothetical side effect that has been claimed to be associated with the HPV vaccine. And what did the study find? No link.

We’re going to examine the new study on potential HPV vaccine side effects, which will tell us more about the safety of the vaccine.

All about HPV and the vaccine

I’ve written about the HPV cancer prevention vaccine over 100 times – however, this might be your first bit of research into the HPV vaccine (known as Gardasil, Cervarix or Silgard), so I feel it’s important to give you, the reader, a brief overview of the disease. If you’ve read this before, please skip to the next section.

Genital and oral human papillomavirus (HPV) are the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI) in the USA. There are more than 150 strains or subtypes of HPV that can infect humans, although only 40 of these strains are linked to a variety of cancers. HPV is generally transmitted from personal contact during vaginal, anal or oral sex.

Although the early symptoms of HPV infections aren’t serious, those infections are closely linked to many types of cancers in men and women. According to current medical research, here are some of the cancers that are linked to HPV:

These are all dangerous and disfiguring cancers that can be mostly prevented by the HPV cancer vaccine. If you’re a male, and you think that these are mostly female cancers, penile cancer can lead to amputation of your penis. Just think about that guys.

HPV is believed to cause nearly 5% of all new cancers across the world, making it almost as dangerous as tobacco with respect to cancer. According to the CDC, roughly 79 million Americans are infected with HPV–approximately 14 million Americans contract HPV every year. Most individuals don’t even know they have the infection until the onset of cancer. About 27,000 HPV-related cancers are diagnosed in the USA every year.

Gardasil-9, the current version of the HPV cancer vaccine, protects teens and young adults from 9 subtypes of cancer-causing HPV, which leads to lower risks of more types of cancer. So, if you’re looking for an effective and inexpensive way to prevent a few of the 200-250 cancers that afflict humans, Gardasil is one of your best choices. That why I call it the anti-cancer vaccine.

HPV vaccine side effects – new study

According to a new study from B. Feiring et al. of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, published in the journal Vaccine, girls receiving one or more doses of HPV vaccine have no greater risk of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) than unvaccinated girls.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a medical condition characterized by long-term fatigue and other symptoms that limit a person’s ability to carry out ordinary daily activities. The actual cause of the syndrome is not understood, but it’s certainly not related to Gardasil.

Part of the reasons why these HPV vaccine side effects were examined in Norway was because of an unexplained rise in the number of CFS cases since 2009, coincidentally, the first year of HPV vaccinations in the country. This, once again, shows us that correlation can be coincidence and not causation.

This study is part of the Norway’s surveillance of the HPV vaccination program – the total cohort was more than 175,000 girls in the first six birth years who were offered the vaccine in the 7th grade. Approximately 145,000 of those girls received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine.

The study has adjusted for factors that may affect the association between vaccination and CFS, such as area of residence, country background, parental education and previous hospital visits among the girls.

The results of the study were:

  • Girls who have received one or more doses of the HPV vaccine have the same risk of CFS compared to girls who have not received vaccine.
  • The study also showed that the number of CFS  cases in Norway has increased in the period 2009-2014. The data for this part of the study includes all Norwegian children and adolescents, aged 10-17 years, during the study period, in total more than 800,000 individuals. About 67% of those diagnosed with CFS are girls. However, the rate of  increase is similar in both sexes, although girls are more frequently diagnosed than boys.

The authors concluded:

In this large, nationwide study including the first six birth cohorts of girls offered quadrivalent HPV vaccine through the national immunisation programme in Norway, no association between HPV vaccination and risk of CFS/ME was observed. Medical history was associated with both increased risk of CFS/ME and lower uptake of HPV vaccine. The current findings support the favourable safety profile of quadrivalent HPV vaccine reported from other pre- and post-licensure studies.

HPV vaccine side effects – not CFS

The cause for the increase in CFS diagnoses in Norway is unknown, but we know it isn’t caused by Gardasil. The increase could have resulted from improved diagnostic criteria or from some unknown environmental factor.

If you are looking at potential HPV vaccine side effects, you can strike chronic fatigue syndrome from the list. This relatively large study dismisses any link between the two.

So remember, the HPV vaccine prevents cancer. And it’s very safe.

Key citations

The Original Skeptical Raptor
Chief Executive Officer at SkepticalRaptor

Lifetime lover of science, especially biomedical research. Spent years in academics, business development, research, and traveling the world shilling for Big Pharma. I love sports, mostly college basketball and football, hockey, and baseball. I enjoy great food and intelligent conversation. And a delicious morning coffee!