Did my daughter's body reject the HPV vaccine?

All Woman

Dear Dr Mitchell,

My 11-year-old daughter got the HPV vaccine at school, but reported that she had no symptoms at all afterwards. She said the nurse told her that her body had probably rejected the vaccine. She has the second dose in six months. If dose one was indeed not reactive, would she be fully protected after the second dose? How would we know if the vaccine is working?

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine that is being given in schools in Jamaica is Cervarix. In some countries Gardasil 9 is given. The vaccine is given in two doses to young girls and boys six months apart. In older women three doses are given. The second one is given one month after the first one, and the third is given six months from the first dose.

The most common minor side effect is injection site pain or discomfort. The lack of pain or reaction to the vaccine does not mean that the product is not effective, since pain is not present in all individuals. The vaccine has been shown to be effective globally and has shown good response in young girls, boys and older women.

You should ensure that your daughter gets the second dose. She will be definitely protected against the HPV-related diseases such as cervical cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, anal cancer and vulvar cancer when she gets older and becomes sexually active.

If you have not received the vaccine and you are under age 65, you should consult your doctor about receiving three doses of the Cervarix vaccine in order to reduce your risk of cervical cancer.

There is no need to be concerned about the efficacy of the vaccine since this has been well established.

Best wishes.

Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave, Kingston 5; or fax to 968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus
Jamaica Health, Beauty, Weddings & Motherhood Stories for the Jamaican Woman - Jamaica Observer - All Woman - JamaicaObserver.com

Back to Top