Objectives: To determine the acceptability of childhood HPV vaccination and examine demographic, cultural, and psychosocial predictors of vaccine acceptance.
Design: School-based survey.
Participants: Questionnaires sent to 1205 mothers of 8-14-year-old girls. Responses from 684 were included in the analyses.
Setting: Ten schools (seven primary, three secondary) in four areas of England.
Results: Seventy-five percent of mothers would accept the vaccine for their daughter. Vaccine acceptance was higher in mothers who had experience of cancer in the family (OR=1.61, CI: 1.14-2.29), had older daughters (OR=1.15, CI: 1.04-1.27), perceived approval from husband/partner (OR=14.51, CI: 6.15-34.25) and believed vaccine acceptance would be more normative (OR=1.78, CI: 1.59-2.01). Having concerns about too many vaccinations (OR=0.22, CI: 0.15-0.31) or vaccine side effects (OR=0.37, CI: 0.28-0.50) and worry about increasing promiscuity (OR=0.47, CI: 0.36-0.62) emerged as deterrents. The modal preferred age was 12 years. Endorsing vaccination at earlier ages was predicted by feeling able to discuss related topics, including sex, at younger ages (OR=1.37, CI: 1.24-1.51) and concern about increasing promiscuity (OR=0.61, CI: 0.47-0.78).
Conclusions: Overall, there was a favourable response to HPV vaccination. Emphasising the widespread acceptance of the vaccine might promote acceptance further, as would information on immunological and social benefits of earlier vaccination.