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More U.S. Parents Reject HPV Vaccine Over Safety Concerns

HPV vaccine

A growing number of parents in the U.S. are choosing not to vaccinate their adolescent children for human papillomavirus (HPV), according to a new study published in the June 2023 edition of the journal Pediatrics.1 The study identified HPV vaccine uptake trends in an effort to develop strategies to combat increasing vaccine hesitancy.

The researchers  found that the proportion of parents citing “safety or side effects” as a reason for opting out of the three-dose series increased significantly by 15.6 percent annually from 2010 to 2018. Also topping the list of cited reasons for opting out of the vaccine were “Not necessary,” “safety concerns,” “lack of recommendation,” “lack of knowledge,” and “not sexually active.”2

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the HPV vaccine targets the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and some cancers of the vulva, anus, oropharynx, as well as HPV types associated with most genital warts.3

“This would have been acceptable around 2006 when the vaccine was new, but now, it is shocking that people still think the vaccine may not be safe,” said study co-author and assistant scientist at Henry Ford Health in Detroit, Michigan Eric Adjei Boakye, PhD. The study’s lead researcher, Kalyani Sonawane, PhD of UTHealth School of Public Health in Houston, Texas, said:

Our suspicion is that the rising safety concerns are probably being driven by [the] use of social media and people trying to find vaccine information online.

HPV is a group of more than 200 related viruses and is considered to be the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. In over 90 percent of cases, HPV is harmless and clears up on its own.4

Recent Study Suggests Single HPV Dose Provides Adequate Protection

CDC officials recommend HPV vaccination for boys and girls aged 11-12, but say that HPV vaccine can be given to children as young as nine years old. As of 2020, about 75 percent of U.S. teens had gotten at least one dose of HPV vaccine in the two or three-dose HPV series, and almost 60 percent had completed the series.

However, preliminary results of a recent study suggested that just one HPV shot is over 97 percent effective in preventing infection, leading over 20 countries to revise their recommendations in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO). The study, which is not yet published, included a randomized double-blind controlled trial—the “gold standard” in research and medicine—where participants in the control group received meningococcal vaccine.5 6

In 2022, the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization decided one dose of the three-dose series would suffice for adequate HPV protection, acknowledging that people are less likely to get all doses of a three dose HPV vaccine series.

Late-Stage Cervical Cancer on the Rise After Widespread HPV Vaccination

Following the adoption of the routine pap smear for women in the 1940s, cervical cancer and subsequent mortality rates fell by 75 percent.7

Incidence rates plateaued in 2012, six years after the HPV vaccine was licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006 and recommended by CDC officials for all 11-12 year old children. Today, despite widespread vaccination, late-stage cervical cancer is on the rise, and incidence rates have not declined within any U.S. racial, ethnic, or age group over the last 18 years, according to one study.8

The WHO seeks to vaccinate 90 percent of girls globally against HPV before they turn 15 years old. Coverage is currently at 13 percent.9


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Click here to view References:

1 Boakye EA, Nair M, Abouelella DK et al. Trends in Reasons for Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Hesitancy: 2010-2020. Pediatrics 2023; 151(6).
2 Press Release. Study: Increasing Number of Parents Who Decline HPV Vaccination for Teens Cite Safety Concerns. American Academy of Pediatrics May 23, 2023.
3 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HPV Vaccine Information For Young Women. Apr. 18, 2022.
4 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Women’s Health. Human papillomavirus. Dec. 29, 2022.
5 Mann D. Parents’ mistrust of HPV vaccine may be growing. Medical Xpress May 23, 2023.
6 Christensen J. HPV vaccine: Some studies say one and done might be better. CNN May 22, 2023.
7 Safaeian M, Soloman D. Cervical Cancer Prevention – Cervical Screening: Science in Evolution. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am 2007; 34(4).
8 Salamon M. Late-stage cervical cancer on the rise: What to know. Harvard Health Publishing Feb. 7, 2023.
9 Press Release. One-dose Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine offers solid protection against cervical cancer World Health Organization Apr. 11, 2022.

14 Responses

  1. Cervarix, which is a creepy name by the way, contains aluminum. Every child’s brain should include aluminum don’t you think?

    On a serious note, the increasing number of parents who opted out of the vaccine is a good sign. We are winning the debate.

    We must however to always be mindful of bad actors who want to use the vaccine issue as a tool of divisiveness in order to erode faith in American institutions like government and healthcare. We want to CHANGE VACCINE POLICY; we do not want to “tear it all down”. Those who do want to “tear it all down” are not welcome in our movement and they’re not welcome here.

  2. Never trust those who are backed by big money or have nothing to lose. That includes the CDC, the FDA, WHO, and the UN or any human government. None of them have your best interest at heart.

    1. Hyperbole like that damages our credibility and makes us look like a movement not to be taken seriously. Delete your comment and probably don’t make any more comments in the future, out of respect for the issue of vaccine safety. We have a mission here and you’re NOT HELPING.

  3. It’s incredible that the authors and the establishment are still recommending this vaccine. When you look at the side effects and the legal cases in court, it is clear this vaccine is like the covid vaccines, high risk and almost no benefit. In a few years we will find out that the vaccine has negative efficiency, in essence it causes more cancer than it prevents. If they tell you the truth about this vaccine, nobody would take it. It is just another Pharmaceutical fraud.

  4. The “study” is hardly Gold Standard when the HPV shot is tested against another dangerous shot, meningitis, as the placebo. When both shots produce harm, they cancel each other out – look no harm!

    1. Thank you! So many things in this article are just wrong! The gold standard is the vaccine against a placebo, not another highly toxic vaccine. The ” over 90 percent of cases of HPV resolve on their own.” How much over 90%? There has to be a risk to benefit assessment here.

  5. This is appalling that THE WHO seem to be the ones calling the “shots” for our children and families. Anything that comes recommend from that organization is a red flag and should be avoided by all human beings. What is best for my children will be decided by myself the actual parent that gave life to this child and feeds them and loves them and is responsible for their health and safety. I grew up in the Era where there was not an HPV shot and never co tracked any of these things. This article even states that HPV in 90% of cases goes away on its own. Even my pediatrician is not in favor of this vaccine. I trust her over some group of people that does not even know my children. As always it’s not about health and safety its about money!!

  6. The vax experts say HPV vax protects only against warts, which can be lasered off. Experts also say HPV vax offers NO protection against any cervical cancer, but shows signs of actually causing / contributing to cervical cancer. Documentation on Gardasil clinical trial shows that the only 2 women who were physically able to complete the 3-in-a-series vaxes died shortly after finishing the series. They were 19 and 20 yo. One died in her sleep. The other died sitting on the shower floor. None of the other clinical trial participants, all girls, were able to function in athletics and school after just one in the series. You’d have to be “asleep” to vax your sexually inactive girls against warts, not HPV.

    1. Gads. What a horror story we are living through. All I can say is we all ought to be very conscious after this decade is over…Bless us….

  7. The HPV vaccine is not needed because it is not airborne like tuberculosis, which incidentally is no longer a threat in the United States in spite of the fact that the BCG vaccine against TB was never in widespread use in the United States. We cannot assume that all young people will lead immoral lives. As a teacher who has lived and taught in small towns, where everyone knows each other’s reputation, as a rule, students who are good in their classwork do not have immoral lifestyles. The HPV vaccine will not protect against AIDS, or the many other sexually transmitted diseases which are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

  8. what I find interesting is that people like to discuss vaccine hesitancy and yet not one article breaks down the ingredients in these vaccines. How about full transparency so people can see for themselves why parents are saying No. And lets be honest here, all the references to the WHO which I clicked on talk about its safety and yet no ingredients were listed for people to look at. So even this article is just another fluff piece that won’t really address the complete issue.

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