Should My Young Daughter Get the HPV Vaccination?
In part, the answer is simply that with every new vaccine, both old and new concerns are unearthed. When the polio vaccine became available in the 1950s, many parents worried that the vaccine would infect their children with the disease, instead of preventing it. This is because many vaccines, including the oral polio vaccine used at that time (OPV), contain live specimens of the virus they are intended to prevent. The risk of actually developing a disease from its live vaccine is relatively small, but it's still a risk.
When Gardasil emerged in the public market, this old fear was dredged up. However, Gardasil does not contain live HPV. In fact, it doesn't even contain inactivated (dead) HPV, so the risk of contracting the disease from the vaccine is 0%. Of course, Gardasil, like every vaccine, can produce negative side effects. The FDA reports that the most common side effect of the vaccination is soreness at the injection site. Some cases of fever, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea have also been reported. You can judge for yourself whether the medical risks of Gardasil outweigh its benefits. But the CDC, which tests all vaccines and weighs the costs and benefits of each, has given Gardasil a hearty nod of approval.