Contact: Hannah Johnson
The research will be presented today [Thursday 7 July] at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Academic Primary Care, hosted this year by the Academic Unit of Primary Health Care, University of Bristol.
The HPV vaccination programme, introduced in the UK in 2008, uses HPV vaccine that is effective against the two most common high risk HPV types (16 and 18), and offers 70 per cent protection against cervical cancer. However, vaccinated girls will still need to attend cervical screening in the future to ensure protection against cervical cancer caused by high risk HPV types not included in the vaccine.
Dr Alison Clements and colleagues interviewed parents and vaccination-aged girls about their understanding of the HPV vaccination in relation to vaccine acceptance, and potential future cervical cancer screening behaviour.
They found a lack of clarity amongst both parents and girls about the link between the HPV vaccine and the need for future cervical screening. In some cases parental consent for their daughters to receive the vaccine was based on the false belief that cervical screening would not be necessary.