Even when financial and healthcare barriers are removed, some parents remain hesitant to have their daughters receive the HPV vaccine. As a result, policymakers must develop and implement strategies to ensure optimal HPV vaccine uptake, says new research in this week's PLoS Medicine. Gina Ogilvie and colleagues surveyed parents of grade 6 girls (age 11) in a publicly funded school-based program in British Columbia, Canada, to determine the level of uptake of the first dose of the HPV vaccine, and to examine the factors involved in their decision to allow receipt of the vaccine.
Sixty five percent of the 2,025 parents who completed the survey had consented to their daughter receiving the first dose of HPV vaccine. By contrast, more than 85% of the parents reported to have consented to hepatitis B and meningitis C vaccinations for their daughters.
Of those who did not consent, almost a third of the parents said concern about the vaccine's safety was their main reason and one in eight said they had not been given sufficient information to make an informed decision.
The authors report that a positive parental attitude towards vaccination and a parental belief that HPV vaccination had limited impact on sexual practices increased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the HPV vaccine. Having a family with two parents or three or more children and having well-educated parents decreased the likelihood of a daughter receiving the vaccine.
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Ogilvie G, Anderson M, Marra F, McNeil S, Pielak K, et al. (2010) A Population-Based Evaluation of a Publicly Funded, School-Based HPV Vaccine Program in British Columbia, Canada: Parental Factors Associated with HPV Vaccine Receipt. PLoS Med 7(5): e1000270. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000270