HPV Vaccine: Few Parents Back Mandate
Poll: Less Than Half of Parents Surveyed Support State Laws Requiring Teen Girls to Get HPV Vaccine
May 23, 2007 -- Most parents don’t support requiring girls to get vaccinated
against human papillomavirus (HPV) by ninth grade, a new poll shows.
Genital HPV is spread through sexual contact. Certain strains of HPV can
cause cervical cancer and genital warts, but most people with HPV don't develop
The CDC's current childhood immunization
schedule recommends that young girls get Gardasil, the first vaccine
against four strains of HPV linked to cervical cancer and genital warts.
Specifically, the CDC recommends the HPV vaccine for girls aged 11-12. Girls
as young as 9 years old can get the vaccine. Girls or women aged 13-26 can get
The CDC doesn't require girls to get the HPV vaccine. But some states and
Washington, D.C., have passed or are considering bills making the HPV vaccine
mandatory for girls.
Those efforts are the topic of the new poll, which was conducted online in
March by Knowledge Networks for the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's
HPV Vaccine Poll
A total of 1,342 parents participated in the poll. They were asked whether
they would support a state law that requires girls to receive the HPV vaccine
before entering ninth grade.
Here are the parents' responses:
- Strongly agree or agree: 44%
- Neutral: 30%
- Strongly disagree or disagree: 26%
For comparison, the parents were also asked if they would support a state
law requiring children to get a new Tdap booster vaccine, which targets three
diseases -- tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough -- that aren't spread
About two-thirds of the parents -- 68% -- said they would support a state
law mandating the Tdap vaccine for children.
"These findings indicate that the American public is able to distinguish
between new vaccines, and that legislative action on HPV may be somewhat
disconnected from public sentiment," states the poll report.
The poll also shows that less than half of the parents -- 43% -- agreed or
strongly agreed with the statement, "New vaccines are safe for my
children." Those parents were more likely to back state laws requiring the