Background: Increasing uptake of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine should be a priority in developing countries since they suffer 88% of the world's cervical cancer burden. In many countries studies show that age at vaccination is an important determinate of parental acceptability. This study explores parental preferences on age-to-vaccinate for adolescent school-going girls.
Materials and methods: The sample was selected using a two-stage probability proportional to size cluster sampling methodology. Questionnaires were sent home with a random sample of 800 adolescent girls attending 12 schools in Mysore to be completed by parents. Descriptive statistics including frequencies, percentages and proportions were generated for independent variables and bivariate analyses (Chi square test) were used to assess the relationship between independent and appropriate age-to-vaccinate.
Results: HPV vaccination acceptability was high at 71%. While 5.3% of parents felt girls should be vaccinated by 10 years or younger; 38.3% said 11-15 years; 14.8% said 16-18 years; 5.8% suggested over 19 years; and 33% didn't know. Only 2.8% of parents would not vaccinate their daughters.
Conclusions: Delaying HPV vaccination until later ages may significantly increase uptake of the HPV vaccine in India.