National Sample Gauges Parent Support for School HPV Requirements

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Race/ethnicity, attitudes about HPV vaccine linked to odds of agreeing with school-entry HPV requirements
Race/ethnicity, attitudes about HPV vaccine linked to odds of agreeing with school-entry HPV requirements

HealthDay News — Opt-out provisions increase parental support for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine school-entry requirements, according to a study published online August 19 in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

William A. Calo, PhD, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues surveyed a national sample of 1,501 parents of 11- to 17-year-olds to assess correlates of support for school-entry requirements for HPV vaccination.

The researchers found that 21% of parents agreed and 54% disagreed that laws requiring HPV vaccination for school attendance are a good idea. Agreement increased to 57% and disagreement dropped to 21% if school-entry requirements included opt-out provisions. Parents more often agreed with requirements without opt-out provisions if they were Hispanic, believed HPV vaccine was as important as other adolescent vaccines, or believed in the effectiveness of HPV vaccination for preventing cervical cancer (odds ratios, 1.53, 2.76, and 2.55, respectively). Parents who resided in Midwest states or those who believed that HPV vaccine was being promoted to make money for drug companies less often agreed (both P<0.05).

"Our findings suggest that race/ethnicity, attitudes about HPV vaccine, and region of residence may influence support for requirements without opt-out provisions," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck and Pfizer; the study was funded by Merck Sharp & Dohme.

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