Despite recommendations, only one-third of girls receive HPV vaccine

HPV Vaccination
University of Miami pediatrician Judith L. Schaechter, M.D. (L) gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl in her office at the Miller School of Medicine on September 21, 2011 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Despite recommendations from physicians, more parents are choosing not to get their adolescent children vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Only one-third of girls received the HPV vaccine, while 80 percent of teens received the Tdap vaccine (for tetanus diphtheria and pertussis) and 63 percent received the MCV4 vaccine (for meningococcal diseases such as meningitis and sepsis), according to the National Immunization Study of Teens.

The study also showed that the percentage of parents concerned about the safety of the HPV vaccine rose from 8 percent in 2008 to 16 percent in 2010, despite a number of studies showing its safety and usefulness.

Dr. Robert Jacobson, medical director of the Employee and Community Health Immunization Program at Mayo Clinic, and Laura Carpenter, associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University, join The Daily Circuit to discuss why parents are shying away from the vaccine.


A Push for HPV Vaccinations. The New York Times looks at the same study: "It comes with a stigma. HPV is a sexually transmitted infection, and some parents fear their daughters will see talking about the vaccine as condoning sex or giving the green light to start having it."

HPV Vaccine Doesn't Alter Sexual Behavior, Study Finds. The New York Times looks at a 2012 study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Is the HPV vaccine safe? Infographic from "Information is Beautiful" illustrating data related to the HPV vaccine.

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