Parents have diverse reasons for refusing to allow their child to receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, so health care providers have much work to do to educate parents about this anticancer vaccine, said Frances DiAnna Kinder, PhD, RN, CPNP-PC, of the La Salle University, Philadelphia.

Pediatricians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants from numerous private pediatric settings in Philadelphia discussed HPV vaccination during a well-child visit with parents and children who were eligible for the vaccine, which generally starts at age 9 years. After a health visit in which the HPV vaccine was refused, the parent was asked to complete a survey in a private room. Of 72 surveys by 63 mothers, 8 fathers, and 1 grandparent of children who were mostly female and mostly between ages 11-16 years, 58% said the vaccine was too new, and 50% said there was not enough research. However, 63% said they believed in the HPV vaccine’s efficacy, and all reported their child was up to date with other recommended vaccines.

There was an open-ended question for parents to indicate other reasons for refusal; some themes of refusal included fear, anxiety, and misunderstanding the facts of the HPV vaccine; 21 parents whose children were aged 11-13 years said their child was too young to be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine. Three parents said that they had “witnessed severe side effects such as becoming paralyzed” or “acquiring an autoimmune disease after the vaccine was administered” to either a family member or friend’s child, Dr. Kinder noted. One parent said, “this vaccine was a money maker for the pharmaceutical companies” and there was “too much controversy for her to be comfortable giving this to her child.”

Read more at (J Pediatr Health Care. 2017. 10.1016/j.pedhc.2017.09.003 ).


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