Parents shun HPV vaccine for daughters

Parents shun HPV vaccine for daughters

Citing concerns about safety, an increasing number of parents are refusing to have their teen daughters vaccinated against the virus that can cause cervical cancer, according to a recent study.

Published in the online edition of Pediatrics this year, the analysis showed that despite the proven safety of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, the number of parents opting out is on the rise.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer in women, with 12,000 new cases annually in the United States. In addition to possibly causing cervical cancer, HPV can lead to genital and anal warts.

Results from a national survey taken between 2008-2010 looked at why parents are not keeping their adolescent girls up to date on the vaccine. The most common reasons in refusing the HPV were: “not sexually active,” “not appropriate age” and “safety concerns/side effects,” the study reported.

The survey shows parent’s worries about safety have been on the rise from 4.5 percent in 2008 to 16.4 percent in 2010. They also saw an increase in the percentage of parents who do not intend to get their daughters vaccinated for HPV—from 39.8 percent in 2008 to 43.9 percent in 2010.

The authors of the study say they are concerned about the results and are hopeful that more discussion and education about the safety and merits of the HPV vaccine will help increase the number of girls receiving the shot in the future.


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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.