Human Papillomavirus: Vaccination

House of Lords written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many adverse reactions to Cervarix, Gardasil and unbranded human papilloma virus vaccines have been reported to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency up to the most recent date; how many of those reports are of serious adverse reactions for each category; and what is the age specific rate that these figures represent.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

A total of 7947 suspected adverse reaction reports with human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines have been reported to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) via the Yellow Card Scheme up to 3 December 2014. It is important to note that a Yellow Card report is not proof of a side effect occurring, but a suspicion by the reporter that the vaccine may have been the cause. The frequency of known side effects is listed in the product information (the Summary of Product Characteristics for health professionals and the Patient Information Leaflet) which are provided with the vaccines.

The following table provides a breakdown of these reports by brand and seriousness.

Vaccine Brand Total number of reports Number of serious reports (% of total)
Cervarix 6,260 1,762 (28%)
Gardasil 1,200 459 (38%)
HPV Brand unspecified 488 308 (63%)
Total 7,948* 2529 (32%)

Note:

*The total number of reports received will not equal the total in the table above as some reports may have more than one suspect vaccine.

The MHRA does not hold data on age-specific usage therefore we are unable to provide the age-specific rate that these figures represent. The MHRA continually reviews safety of the vaccine and, following administration of over 7 million doses in the UK alone, no serious new risks have been identified. The benefits in protecting against HPV-related disease far outweigh any possible side effects of the vaccine.

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