Reluctance to get the HPV vaccine has stabilized or increased in some subgroups


Gardasil vaccine and box. Image: Wikipedia

A study tracking parental opinion about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine showed that after several years of reluctance to decline in some ethnic groups and age groups, reluctance has now either stabilized or increased, according to the results at the 14th AACR virtual science conference of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial / Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved, October 6-8, 2021.

The HPV vaccine is believed to be effective in preventing cervical cancer and several other cancers, including anal, penile, vulvar, vaginal, and oropharyngeal cancers. In the United States, two doses of the vaccine are recommended for most teenagers, with the first dose starting before the child is 15 years oldNS Date of birth.

After the HPV vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2006, the government set a goal that 80 percent of the eligible population would receive the vaccine by 2020. However, just over half of teenagers in the United States have received two or more doses of the vaccine. “More needs to be done so that we can achieve the 80 percent completion target that we have now set Healthy People by 2030, “said lead study author Eric Adjei Boakye, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Population Science and Policy at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.

“Parents’ skepticism about the HPV vaccine was a known reason for suboptimal vaccine uptake in the United States,” Adjei Boakye continued. In this study, Adjei Boakye and colleagues wanted to investigate whether parental hesitation has changed over time and whether parental opinion varies by ethnicity or age group.

Using data from the National Immunization Survey (NIS) Teenagers 2010-2019, the researchers identified 16,383 adolescents who had not received a dose of the HPV vaccine. They rated parents’ vaccination reluctance by asking, “How likely are your teenagers to receive HPV shots in the next 12 months?” Parents who answered “not too likely,” “not at all likely,” or “not sure / don’t know” were considered immune to vaccinations.

The results showed that overall reluctance to adopt HPV vaccines decreased from about 69 percent in 2010 to 63 percent in 2019.

However, many subgroups exhibited increased hesitation or hesitation that improved for a while and then came to a standstill. The study showed:

  • The average reluctance to vaccinate among mothers with male adolescents fell by 6.17 percent annually from 2010 to 2012, but remained stable from 2012 to 2019.
  • Mothers with Hispanic children had an average decrease in hesitation of 6.24 percent per year from 2010 to 2013, but an average increase of 1.19 percent per year from 2013 to 2019. No significant changes were observed in other breeds.
  • In mothers aged 35 to 44, the average vaccination hesitation decreased by 5.88 percent from 2010 to 2012 and remained stable from 2012 to 2019.
  • In mothers aged 45 and over, the average vaccination hesitation decreased by 3.92 percent from 2010 to 2013 and remained stable from 2013 to 2019.
  • Mothers with a college degree or higher had an average decrease in vaccination reluctance of 6.03 percent from 2010 to 2012, compared with an average decrease of 6.24 percent for those with a high school degree. Both groups saw the reluctance to stabilize after 2012.

“Overall, vaccination reluctance remains very high in the United States, with nearly two-thirds of parents in our study remaining reluctant to receive the vaccine as of 2019,” Adjei Boakye said, noting that rejecting the vaccine added to the reluctance Might have been in American society and disinformation on social media.

Adjei Boakye said parents who do not want their child to have the HPV vaccine cite several reasons: some say the vaccine is not necessary; some have safety concerns; some feel it is not necessary because their children were not sexually active; and some did not have enough knowledge about it.

He said the study results suggest that public information campaigns should focus on parents who are reluctant to get the HPV vaccine. Culturally tailored messages could be effective in the Hispanic population, which has a higher incidence of cervical cancer. Talking face to face about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine could also help allay fears.

“The HPV vaccine is very safe and effective in preventing HPV-associated cancers. Over 135 million doses have been given in the United States alone with very few side effects reported,” he said. He also urged parents to be careful about disinformation on social media.

“Don’t trust everything you read on the internet or on social media platforms. If you have any doubts or a question, please speak to your doctor, ”he said.

Adjei Boakye noted that one limitation of the study is that it did not follow the same parents over the 10-year period to assess whether their opinions had changed. The researchers do not indicate any conflicts of interest.

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Provided by the American Association for Cancer Research

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