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Reasons for Not Vaccinating Against Cancer

May 23, 2023 • 5:35 am CDT
U.S. CDC HPV cancers May 2023
(Precision Vaccinations)

Why do some parents resist offering cancer prevention vaccines to their adolescents? These effective vaccines have significantly reduced cervical cancer over decades.

HPV vaccination could prevent more than 90% of cancers caused by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) from developing.

A new study published today by the American Academy of Pediatrics found parents cited vaccine safety as a leading reason for not intending to vaccinate their adolescent children against HPV has increased over time.

Overall, parental HPV vaccine hesitancy decreased by 5.5% annually between 2010 and 2012 and remained stable for nine years from 2012 through 2020.

The five most frequently cited reasons for not intending to vaccinate included “not necessary,” “safety concerns,” “lack of recommendation,” “lack of knowledge,” and “not sexually active.”

The proportion of parents citing “safety or side effects” as a reason for vaccine hesitancy increased significantly by 15.6% annually from 2010 to 2018.

The proportion of parents citing “not recommended,” “lack of knowledge,” or “child not sexually active” as reasons for vaccine hesitancy decreased significantly by 6.8%, 9.9%, and 5.9%, respectively, per year.

 And no significant changes were observed for parents citing “not necessary.”

The good news is by 2020, about 75% of adolescents had received at least one HPV vaccine dose, but only 59% completed the vaccination series.

The U.S. CDC updated its recommended HPV vaccination schedule in 2023.

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