May 5, 1:40 AMVaccines ExaminerNorma Erickson
In British Columbia parents do not have to worry about prescriptions for vaccines, no time off work, no trips to the doctor’s office to get their children vaccinated. Vaccines are provided free of charge and administered at school by trained health professionals.
This was the first year the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was included in British Columbia’s vaccination program.
Even so, according to a recent survey conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia, 35% of the parents refused to allow their daughters to receive Gardasil. Only 12% of the same group of parents refused the Hepatitus B and Menimgococcal C vaccines offered.
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control wanted to know the reason for the disparity. They provided the funding to have parents of girls across the province surveyed to find out.
The goal of this survey was not only to find out how many girls received their first injection of Gardasil. The British Columbia CDC wanted to know what motivated parents to either allow, or not allow, their children to receive this particular vaccine.
The survey concentrated on parents of sixth grade girls, age approximately 11, who were offered Gardasil.
These are the four top reasons parents gave for refusing the HPV vaccine:
- They were concerned about the safety of the vaccine.
- They felt their daughters were too young for this particular vaccine.
- They did not have enough information about the vaccine to make an informed decision.
- The vaccine was too new.
The top four reasons parents gave for consenting to the vaccine were:
- The vaccine is effective in preventing cancer/HPV.
- A physician advised them.
- They were concerned for their daughter’s health.
- They consent to all vaccines, HPV is no different.
The big surprise for researchers came when they discovered that the higher the level of parental education and the more traditional the family composition was, the more likely parents were to refuse Gardasil.