HPV Vaccine For 11 To 12-year-olds: Should Parents Opt Out?

HPV Vaccine For 11 To 12-year-olds: Should Parents Opt Out?
HPV Vaccination in Sao Paulo Brazil March 2014 Pan American Health Organization-PAHO Pan American Health Organization-PAHO / Flickr CC
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What's This?

Over the past decade, the U.S. health department has been advocating for the inclusion of human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) vaccine, the first cancer prevention vaccine developed, as a requirement among school children.


But since its release in the market, parents are far from convinced that the vaccine should be compulsory for their children. But interestingly, studies point out that had the law included an “opt-out” provision, parents’ attitudes toward the vaccine might shift, the NPR reported.

Mandatory HPV Vaccine

According to a study, only one in five parents support making the HPV vaccine a requirement for school. But if the opt-out provision is instituted, this would entirely change the overall attitude of parents toward HPV vaccination.

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William Calo, lead researcher of the study, said he’s aware of this situation, saying that this really what is happening to the country. He, however, said that parents should be given the option to choose whether to have their children vaccinated or not.

Out-Out Provision

“It’s interesting; if you had opt-out provisions, it tripled their support, but we know from previous research that if you add the opt-out provisions, you will make the law less effective,” Calo was quoted as saying by NPR.

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Calo, meanwhile, pointed out that this issue, if settled, could potentially save an estimated 30,000 lives each year. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that girls between 11 and 12 should be protected against HPV.

Data from the CDC revealed that the HPV vaccine is by far the most effective vaccine available that provides protection against HPV. The vaccine is the only anti-cancer vaccine recognized and endorsed by the health bureau.

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