Article prompts debate about HPV vaccine safety

Last week, Texas physicians encouraged men to get the HPV vaccine in a local media outlet. The media outlet shared the article in a social media post. Some social media users falsely claimed that the HPV vaccine is dangerous and that it sterilizes people. Others suggested that the HPV vaccine is unnecessary and only exists to profit pharmaceutical companies.

Risk level: Low

Recommendation: These types of posts may discourage patients in the South from getting the HPV vaccine and vaccinating their children against HPV. Doctors may face questions about the safety and efficacy of the HPV vaccine. Clinical trials have shown that the HPV vaccine is very safe. Messaging may emphasize that the HPV vaccine offers long-lasting protection against HPV, which reduces the risk of developing HPV-related cancer. Extensive research, including a 2020 study and a WHO analysis of global data, found no link between HPV vaccination and infertility. The CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for adolescents of any gender ages 11 to 12, but anyone between the ages of 9 and 45 can receive it.