Parents wary of HPV vaccination requirements

An article by FiercePharma
August 22, 2016

Despite a renewed push by health officials to promote HPV vaccination, a new poll finds that only a minority of parents believe laws requiring the vaccines “are a good idea." Others said they were worried the vaccines can cause serious side effects or that they’re a ploy for pharma sales.

According to the research, 21% of parents said they support laws mandating HPV vaccination as a school-entry requirement, but that number jumped to 57% if the laws were to include “opt-out” provisions. Pharmas Merck ($MRK) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) manufacture the shots and for years have battled barriers in growing uptake such as a sex stigma, safety concerns, misinformation and a reluctance by doctors to strongly encourage the vaccines.

Additionally, researchers found that 23% of the parents questioned vaccine safety and 32% said HPV shots are a sales ploy by pharma companies, ABC News reports.

The group conducted the work in response to a growing number of states considering such requirements; Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington, D.C., currently require the vaccines for schoolchildren, according to ABC.

The new numbers add context to an ongoing push to promote HPV vaccination by pharmas and organizations including the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. In February, all 69 of the NCI’s Cancer Centers joined together and urged more vaccination, calling the vaccines “tragically underused.”

 

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