Mayo: Not enough girls getting HPV vaccine

A larger percentage of parents say they won't have their teen daughters vaccinated for human papilloma virus, or HPV, a Mayo Clinic study has found.

Forty percent of parents surveyed in 2008 said they would not vaccinate their daughters against HPV. In 2010, 44 percent said they wouldn't have their girls get the vaccine.

"That's the opposite direction that the rate should be going," said Dr. Robert Jacobson, a senior researcher and pediatrician with the Mayo Clinic Children's Center.

Jacobson said the vaccine is important because it prevents sexually transmitted HPV infections that lead to cervical and other cancers.

The survey results showed 16 percent of parents were concerned about HPV vaccine safety in 2010, compared with 5 percent in 2008. During that same period, more studies demonstrated the HPV vaccine's safety, Jacobson said.

In a separate survey of teens, only about a third of girls were immunized against HPV from 2008-2010, compared with 80 percent who had the Tdap vaccine.

The findings about attitudes on the HPV vaccine are published in the new issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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