The HPV vaccine exists as 2 products, Gardasil (marketed by Merck and protecting against types 6, 11, 16 and 18 of the human papillomavirus) and Cervarix (marketed by GlaxoSmithKline and protecting against types 16 and 18 only). The NIH profits from patent royalties on this vaccine, creating a conflict-of-interest in government recommendations about it.
Genital warts are most commonly associated with HPV–6 and HPV–11. HPV types 16 and 18 together are found in about 70 percent of cervical cancers.
Only about 3% of women are infected by these four types of HPV (Types 6, 11, 16, 18) targeted by the vaccine. The vaccine is very expensive and has been associated with severe adverse reactions, including paralysis.
The HPV vaccine does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, AIDS, etc.), and the vaccine is not recommended for use in pregnant women or girls.
"Gardasil had three times the number of Emergency Room visits [than associated with the meningitis vaccine] - more than 5,000. Reports of side effects were up to 30 times higher with Gardasil."
In a remarkable move, a researcher for the HPV vaccine declared, "Public Should Receive More Complete Warnings":
- Dr. Diane Harper says young girls and their parents should receive more complete warnings before receiving the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer. ... It’s highly unusual for a researcher to publicly criticize a medicine or vaccine she helped get approved. Dr. Harper joins a number of consumer watchdogs, vaccine safety advocates, and parents who question the vaccine’s risk-versus-benefit profile. She says data available for Gardasil shows that it lasts five years; there is no data showing that it remains effective beyond five years.
Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
As of May 1, 2009, there have been 13,758 adverse reactions occurring after administration of the HPV vaccine, including 39 deaths, reported to the CDC since the FDA approval on June 8, 2006. Of the 39 deaths, 26 were confirmed; the CDC claims that none of these were caused by the vaccine.
In addition to the above referenced injuries and deaths, many girls who receive the HPV vaccine say that it is the most painful of all injections they get, and that the vaccine itself burns, unlike the "other shots [that] tend to hurt only at the moment of the needle stick, and not after the vaccine plunges in." Many girls have passed out from the pain.
The FDA approved this HPV vaccine without reviewing any epidemiological studies, and after monitoring for only a brief period elevated antibody levels in recipients of the vaccine. No tests were done, for example, to see if the vaccine causes cancer or birth defects in rats, though such tests would be easy for the FDA to require, if it weren't for the possibility that it might cause disapproval of the vaccine.
The long-term consequences of the HPV vaccine are not known. Children in the 9-year-old age group have been monitored for only 18 months, and there have been no studies of possible longer-term risks of the vaccine, such as infertility, cancer, or autism.
The HPV vaccine is being promoted as protection against cervical cancer, but Merck itself does not ensure protection in its package insert. Rather, this claim is based on research showing that 70% of cervical cancer cases also have prevalence of these four strains of HPV. Cervical cancer has already been quickly declining in the United States without the vaccine.
Merck sells Gardasil for $360 ($120 per shot in a three-shot series). Adding administrative costs, the overall cost to the public is $400–500 per child vaccinated. Doing the math, the cost of vaccinating 100 children will be at least $40,000, but only 3 out of that 100 will ever be exposed to the HPV types targeted by the vaccine.
The average age of diagnosis of cervical cancer is 48 years old. Accordingly, the effective cost is $13,000 per child to possibly protect her against a cancer over 30 years in the future. But the vaccine is not known to be effective for more than five years; most new vaccines are not effective any longer than that.
An effective means of protection against the same disease is freely available, and it is abstinence. The National Cancer Institute notes that "The surest way to eliminate risk for genital HPV infection is to refrain from any genital contact with another individual." 
Routine pap smears are an inexpensive and easy way to detect cervical cancer early so that it can be treated.
Harm Exceeds Benefit
The HPV vaccine has caused many millions of dollars in health injuries, including at least two deaths. Most of the victims have still be unable to recover any compensation for their injuries, despite promises that they would have that right.
In a journal article published in the June 17, 2013 edition of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, there is a claim that HPV has been effective in reducing the incidence of a few strains of HPV in teenage girls, but the same article found no long-term benefit in adults. The study compares the incidence of a few strains of HPV in a few thousand patients before and after 2006, when the HPV vaccine became available. The study found no reduction in incidence of four strains of HPV among adults, but a 56 reduction in these particular strains in teenager girls 14–19 years old.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have not supported making this vaccine mandatory.
Dr. Jon Abramson, a member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said to the Washington Times that "I told Merck my personal opinion that it shouldn't be mandated. And they heard it from other committee members."
Parents can best decide whether to give this unproven vaccine to their own children, most of whom are never likely to benefit from it.
Merck has succeeded in having its HPV Vaccine added to the "list of required vaccinations for immigrants applying to become citizens," thereby forcing immigrants to pay for and receive this vaccine.
- See NIH royalties.
- National Cancer Institute: Human Papillomaviruses and Cancer: Questions and Answers 
- This was confirmed by a study published February 28, 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA 297(8):813-819, February 28, 2007. "HPV vaccine types 6 and 11 (low-risk types) and 16 and 18 (high-risk types) were detected in 3.4% of female participants ...."
- 12-year-old paralyzed
- CDC: Reports of Adverse Events Following Gardasil® Vaccination
- MSNBC: Some girls fainting after receiving HPV vaccine Gardasil gaining reputation as most painful of childhood shots, experts say 
- MayoClinic.com: Pap smear: Screening test for cervical cancer: Understand the importance of the Pap smear, including how it's done, what it means when it's abnormal and why it needs to be part of your regular health checkups.