No evidence found for an increased risk of long-term fatigue following human papillomavirus vaccination of adolescent girls

Fatigue was frequently found among adolescent girls but CFS was rarely diagnosed
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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: In 2013, the Netherlands Pharmacovigilance Center Lareb published an overview of reports of long-lasting fatigue following bivalent HPV-vaccination (2vHPV). After an update of this overview in 2015, concerns regarding the safety of 2vHPV was picked up by the media, which led to further reports of long-lasting fatigue. Therefore, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) investigated a possible association between HPV-vaccination and long-term fatigue.

METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study conducted in the Integrated Primary Care Information database, we investigated the occurrence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fatigue ≥6 months and 3-6 months in all girls born in 1991-2000 during the follow-up period January 1st 2007-December 31st 2014 (2007-2008 pre-vaccination and 2009-2014 post-vaccination). Patients with certain fatigue ≥6 m were asked for consent to link their primary care information with vaccination data. Incidence rates per 10,000 person years (PY) for 12-16-year-old girls were compared between pre- and post-HPV-vaccine era. A self-controlled case series (SCCS) analysis was performed using consenting vaccinated cases. A primary high-risk period of 12 months after each dose was defined.

RESULTS: The cohort consisted of 69,429 12-16-year-old girls accounting for 2758 PY pre-vaccination and 57,214 PY post-vaccination. Differences between pre- and post-vaccination incidences (CFS: 3.6 (95% CI 0.5-25.7)/10,000 PY and 0.9 (0.4-2.1); certain fatigue ≥6 m: 7.3 (1.8-29.0) and 19.4 (16.1-23.4); certain fatigue 3-6 m: 0.0 and 16.6 (13.6-20.3), respectively) were not statistically significant. SCCS analyses in 16 consenting vaccinated cases resulted in an age-adjusted RR of 0.62 (95%CI 0.07-5.49).

CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue ≥6 m and 3-6 m was frequently found among adolescent girls, but CFS was rarely diagnosed. No statistically significant increased incidence rates were found post-vaccination compared to similar age groups of girls pre-vaccination. The SCCS analysis included a low number of cases but revealed no elevated risk of certain fatigue ≥6 m in the high-risk period.

Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Source: Schurink-Van’t Klooster TM, Kemmeren JM, van der Maas NAT, van de Putte EM, Ter Wolbeek M, Nijhof SL, Vanrolleghem A5, van Vliet JA, Sturkenboom M, de Melker HE. No evidence found for an increased risk of long-term fatigue following human papillomavirus vaccination of adolescent girls. Vaccine. 2018 Sep 19. pii: S0264-410X(18)31268-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.09.019. [Epub ahead of print]   (Full article)

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