A Mayo Clinic physician and two other pediatric experts say that parental perceptions pose a major barrier to acceptance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination — and that many of those perceptions are wrong. Their comments are published in the September issue of Expert Review of Clinical Immunology, in an editorial on why HPV vaccination rates remain poor.
“The greatest misperception of parents is that the HPV vaccine isn’t needed,” says Mayo Clinic’s Robert Jacobson, M.D., lead author of the editorial. “Not only is that wrong, it’s a dangerous idea to be spreading around. Recent figures show that at least 12,000 unvaccinated women develop cervical cancer from HPV every year.” Other incorrect perceptions: The HPV vaccines are not safe, and they are given to children when they are too young.