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Ministers ignored parents’ fears over cervical cancer jab

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Brian Brady
London Independent
Sunday, Sept 7, 2008

Ministers went ahead with the programme to vaccinate schoolgirls against cervical cancer despite government-funded research concluding that parents were widely opposed to the move, with many fearing it would give their daughters a licence to be promiscuous.

Schools across the United Kingdom last week began offering all 12- and 13-year-old girls the vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), blamed for causing 70 per cent of incidences of cervical cancer. Scottish schoolgirls last week became the first in the UK to be vaccinated. Pupils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will follow in the coming weeks.

The multimillion-pound campaign against HPV, which is spread by sexual contact, is believed to be the biggest public-health programme ever launched in this country.

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But an internal research study obtained by The Independent on Sunday reveals the extent of parental resistance to the vaccine. Parents rejected the suggestion that their daughters should be able to consent to having the vaccine without the permission or even the knowledge of their parents.

The HPV Parental Attitudes Survey, carried out in England and Wales on behalf of the Department of Health (DoH), also revealed that many young people themselves predicted that the jab could lead to increased promiscuity.


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This article was posted: Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 3:47 am

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