The HPV Vaccine | Why Parents Really Choose to Refuse

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Why do parents really choose to refuse the HPV vaccine? A new study of survey data finds that only a minority of parents choose not to immunize their children against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) due to concerns that vaccination would encourage or support youth sexual activity, a reason frequently cited by doctors as a barrier to advocating for this vaccine. Instead, the results show, parental concerns that steer young people away from vaccination tend to focus on safety worries, lack of necessity, knowledge about HPV and absence of physician recommendation, according to Johns Hopkins researchers who led the investigation.

The findings, published in the November issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, could help public health officials and professional societies develop new interventions to increase rates of HPV vaccination.