Vaccine delivers sting

January 4, 2008 3:46:54 PM PST
Gardasil, the new cervical cancer vaccine, is getting a reputation as one of the most painful of childhood shots.

In its first year of use, complaints of pain, and even fainting, were higher than for other vaccinations.

The pain is short-lived, according to most girls. But some teens say it is uncomfortable driving with, or sleeping on the injected arm for up to a day after getting the shot.

Teens tend to faint from needles, so a three-dose vaccine for adolescents would be expected to prompt some added fainting.

Researchers aren't sure why terens faint more than other age groups, but nervousness may be a factor.

Merck, Gardasil's maker, says it does sting, partially because of the type of particles in it.

But doctors don't think the pain has diminished demand for the 3-injection vaccine.