Parental response to the introduction of a vaccine against human papilloma virus

Hum Vaccin. 2006 Nov-Dec;2(6):243-8. doi: 10.4161/hv.2.6.3391. Epub 2006 Nov 12.


The introduction of a vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that is the causal factor of at least 95% of invasive cervical cancer, could significantly reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer occurring in the UK each year. To ensure that individuals are protected before onset of sexual activity, it is likely that the vaccine will be offered to children around 10 years of age. It is important that parents' attitudes to HPV vaccination are taken into account, particularly as the subject relates to sexual health issues. In order to gauge parents' initial responses to the addition of HPV vaccine to the immunisation programme and identify the issues needing further research, in-depth interviews were held with parents of girls and boys aged 8-10 years. Our results show that most parents have not heard of HPV and were not aware of the role of HPV in cervical cancer. There were concerns about offering a vaccine that protects against a sexually transmitted infection to children and that the vaccine should be offered at an older age in conjunction with a sex education program. In order to avoid rejection of this vaccine, work needs to take place now to raise awareness of HPV as a cause of cervical cancer prior to any introduction of the vaccination program.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parental Consent
  • Parents*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Viral / prevention & control*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vaccination


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines