AAP Corrects Statements on HPV Vaccine Safety

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The American Academy of Pediatrics released this statement today in response to statements made during the Republican Tea Party debate [1]:

HPV vaccine

The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all recommend that girls receive HPV vaccine around age 11 or 12. That’s because this is the age at which the vaccine produces the best immune response in the body, and because it’s important to protect girls well before the onset of sexual activity. In the U.S., about 6 million people, including teens, become infected with HPV each year, and 4,000 women die from cervical cancer. This is a life-saving vaccine that can protect girls from cervical cancer.

UPDATE: September 15th, 2011

Two bioethicists have offered a reward if the mother Republican Representative Michele Bachmann talked about can produce medical proof that her daughter suffered mental retardation from the HPV vaccine.


  1. American Academy of Pediatrics Statement on HPV Vaccine. American Academy of Pediatrics news release. 2011 Sep 13.
About the Author

Walter Jessen is a senior writer for Highlight HEALTH Media.