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Elizabeth Boskey, Ph.D.

The Joy of Learning

By December 3, 2012

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Last week, I presented a talk on viral STDs at the CFLE Sex Education Conference, and I learned some fascinating things about the HPV vaccine from one of the nurses in the audience. Specifically, she explained to me why Gardasil is sometimes painful and sometimes not. Although I'm hoping to have her write a guest post to talk about the ways to reduce the likelihood of pain during vaccination, the short version is simple, and I'll share it right now.

If you're a young man or woman looking to be vaccinated, when you get to the doctor's office you should ask the nurse to take the vaccine out of the refrigerator a few minutes before you get your shot. Apparently, a lot of the reason the vaccine sometimes hurts so much is that it's injected cold, straight out of the fridge, and taking a few minutes to warm the vial up can make all the difference. (She also suggested trying to get the vaccine from someone who has done it a bunch of times, since it's not always the easiest vaccine to draw up and inject.)

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