Last week, multiple news articles reported 44% of American parents refusing Gardasil or Cervarix for their children. Between 2008 and 2010, the percentage of parents concerned about the safety of these two vaccines nearly quadrupled. As of 2010, only 32% of eligible girls were vaccinated against HPV. What is wrong with this picture?
Excerpts from national news sources, March 18-22, 2013:
- USA Today The percentage of parents who say they won’t have their teen daughters vaccinated against the human papillomavirus increases, even though physicians increasingly recommend the vaccinations. Concerns about safety and side effects for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine have increased among parents: 16% cited these fears as the main reason they did not have their daughters vaccinated in 2010, up from 5% in 2008…
- Medpage Today Parents increasingly say they are worried about the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and don’t intend to vaccinate their teen daughters… But there is no similar pattern for two other vaccines aimed at adolescents…
- CNN Health Concerns of mothers and fathers about the safety of the HPV vaccine grew each year, from 4.5% in 2008 to 16.4% in 2010… The number of parents who said they would not vaccinate their children for HPV increased from 38.9% in 2008 to 43.9% in 2010. The main concern was safety.
- CBS News One of the main reasons parents said they didn’t want their children vaccinated against HPV was because of safety concerns.
- Bloomberg The number of girls who received either injection (Gardasil or Cervarix) rose to about one-third in 2010 from 16 percent in 2008…
- FiercePharma A growing share of U.S. parents say they won’t vaccinate their daughters… And that leaves Merck’s Gardasil and GSK’s Cervarix with a shrinking market.
- The New York Times …suggesting, the need for interventions beyond clinical recommendations like possibly ‘state and federally designed social marketing campaigns’… Without brushing aside the need to address safety concerns, the increasing rates of HPV vaccine refusal suggest that widespread vaccination will require more than marketing campaigns. Medical professionals need to look for ways to tell a better story to parents and teens about HPV, vaccination and cancer. (emphasis added)
Has no one considered the possibility that the 43.9% of parents refusing this particular vaccine might have some valid concerns?