Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2020


School of Nursing


Nursing (B.S.N.)


HPV vaccine, safety, controversial


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Biological Phenomena, Cell Phenomena, and Immunity | Chemicals and Drugs | Clinical Epidemiology | Immune System Diseases | International Public Health | Medical Immunology | Medicine and Health Sciences | Patient Safety | Pharmaceutics and Drug Design | Virus Diseases


The use of vaccinations has drastically decreased mortality and morbidity rates related to infectious disease and has become an intrinsic part of modern health care. However, the fear of risks related to vaccines has been partially responsible for the decisions of many parents to delay or avoid vaccinating their children. The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine specifically is one of the most controversial vaccines in current culture due to reports of new onset or exacerbation of autoimmune diseases, infertility, and even death following its administration. This review synthesizes information regarding the relevance and safety of the HPV vaccine, as well as its efficacy in preventing cervical cancer and precancerous lesions. There appears to be a need for thorough education regarding concepts of immunity, infection, and vaccine function for those hesitant about receiving vaccines. Particularly regarding the HPV vaccine, practitioners should be familiar with common reasons for vaccine refusal and be prepared to respond with accurate information.