Social media posts make false claims about HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness

Popular posts in English and Spanish are circulating false claims about HPV vaccine safety and effectiveness. The posts allege that HPV vaccines don’t prevent cancer and cause autoimmune diseases, miscarriages, birth defects, and young adult deaths.

Risk level: Medium

Recommendation: Vaccine opponents have been circulating myths about HPV vaccines since they were introduced in 2006. These types of posts may discourage patients from getting the HPV vaccine or from vaccinating children against HPV. Messaging may emphasize that hundreds of millions of doses of the HPV vaccine have been administered globally with no serious safety concerns. Recent studies from the U.S., the U.K., and Sweden show a decrease in cervical cancer rates in HPV-vaccinated populations, putting some countries on track to eliminate the disease. 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.