A new study has found that vaccines against the human papilloma virus (HPV)for children then they enroll in school, isn’t as widely accepted as many would assume. However, more parents accepted the HPV vaccine if there was an option to opt-out of it.
Researchers from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, sought to estimate the support of parents for HPV vaccination as a requirement when children enter school. They surveyed over 1, 500 parents of 11 to 17-year old children between November 2014 and January 2015.
According to William Calo, one of the authors of study which was recently published in journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention:
“We were expecting a higher number of parents supporting vaccine requirements. 21 percent is a lot lower than we expected.”
However, the percentage of parents who thought the HPV vaccine for children was a good idea rose to 57, after a provision to opt-out was included in the vaccination program. This is a matter of serious concern for public health in the US. The efficiency HPV vaccine has been proven again and again through numerous trials and studies. Before it was even approved for commercial use, it was tested on thousands of people and it was found safe.
It’s the only vaccine that can fully prevent all forms of cervical cancers, the majority of vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers. It also prevents 91 percent of anal cancer and 72 percent of neck and throat cancers. In the United States, almost 80 million people have an HPV infection that could have been prevented. Over 14 million people are getting infected every year.
Despite their overwhelming benefits and lack of any adverse effects, HPV vaccines are still very controversial. Researchers found that parents didn’t think they were required to vaccinate the children since the virus is transmitted through sexual contact. Almost 23 percent of the surveyed parents were concerned about any possible health problems the vaccine could cause. 32 percent of parents thought it was only a way for drug companies to make money.
The overall vaccination rates in the US remain low. The HPV vaccination series is finished only by 40 percent of girls and 22 percent of boys aged 13 to 17, according to a report from 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services wants to achieve a vaccination rate of 80 percent by 2020.
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