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Suspected adverse events (AE) after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines include postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and symptoms including headache and orthostatic intolerance.


We aimed to identify phenotypes of AEs after HPV vaccination, defined as patterns of AE terms (signs, symptoms, diagnoses), and to evaluate if identified phenotypes reflected previously suspected symptomatology or heightened public concerns over HPV vaccine safety since 1 January 2015.


We conducted a retrospective observational study using latent class cluster analysis of all serious AE reports (n = 963) reported by females residing in Denmark between September 2009 and August 2017. Resulting clusters were characterised according to AE terms associated with POTS, CFS and CRPS before (September 2009–December 2014) and during (January 2015–August 2017) a time of heightened media activity regarding HPV vaccines.


Four clusters of AE reports were distinguished. The most common symptoms were fatigue, dizziness and headache but their frequency varied among clusters. The majority of reports in one cluster were submitted during a period of heightened media activity, including an anomalous spike in submissions in December 2015; a high proportion of these reports included the symptoms cognitive disorder (78%), abdominal pain (77%), dysuria (60%) and sleep disorder (60%).


Non-specific symptoms including headache, fatigue and dizziness feature prominently in serious AE reports from females in Denmark. Our analysis identified a cluster of reports, likely media stimulated, with a focus on symptoms of CFS and POTS.


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