Only 1 in 5 parents support laws requiring human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for school attendance, but that number increases to more than half when school-entry requirements for HPV vaccination include opt-out provisions, a national survey published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention has shown.1
The HPV vaccine is indicated in girls and women 9 to 26 years old for the prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, and anal cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18, and in boys and men 9 to 26 years old for the prevention of anal cancer caused by HPV types 16 and 18.
Over the last decade, the number of states proposing school-entry requirements for HPV vaccination has risen; however, limited data are available regarding parents’ support of such laws. Therefore, researchers sought to conduct a survey to evaluate parents’ support of HPV vaccination school-entry requirements.
Investigators surveyed 1501 parents of children 11 to 17 years old using a Web-based questionnaire between November 2014 and January 2015.
Overall, 21% of parents agreed that HPV vaccination laws for entry into school “are a good idea,” while 54% disagreed. Investigators found that if school-entry requirements included opt-out provisions, agreement increased to 57%, with only 21% disagreeing.
The study demonstrated that parents were more likely to agree with requirements without opt-out provisions if they were Hispanic, believed HPV vaccine was as or more important than other adolescent vaccines, or believed the HPV vaccine was effective for the prevention of cervical cancer.
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In contrast, parents were less likely to agree with such requirements if they lived in Midwest states or believed that the HPV vaccine was being pushed so that pharmaceutical companies make more money.
- Calo WA, Gilkey MB, Shah PD, Moss JL, Brewer NT. Parents’ support for school-entry requirements for human papillomavirus vaccination: A national study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Aug 19. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-1159. [Epub ahead of print]