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HPV awareness day

Are girls not getting their HPV shot anti-vaxxers?

Today is the international HPV awareness day. Here in Denmark a high proportion of girls are still not getting vaccinated. Interestingly, this has led to increased campaigning by the health authorities, but without much success.
Unfortunately many identify reasons for not getting a vaccination as a general anti-vaxxer position. This is very counterproductive. Most girls who do not get vaccinated have earlier had their other shots as part of the ongoing programs. Thus they cannot just be described as anti-vaxxers.
Others have identified a lack of knowledge as a reason. While there may be some truth to this it certainly doesn’t explain why it is exactly the HPV vaccination that’s getting skipped.
Recent studies have, however, identified interesting findings providing part of the explanation. Many parents simply were never recommended to get the shot by their health care provider.
Another often cited reason is a lack of belief in necessity – the risk of acquiring an HPV related cancer is simply considered to be very low. Safety is still a concern with many parents but it certainly doesn’t seem to be the key reason. Maybe it’s time for the health authorities to change their communication.

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