Parents shun HPV vaccine for daughters
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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