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Health Experts Puzzled As More Parents Are Denying Children HPV Vaccine


DENVER (CBS4) – A new study shows a growing number of parents with safety concerns are not letting their children get the vaccine that prevents cervical cancer. Experts call that worrying and puzzling.

Colorado parents are known for being anti-shot. One survey ranked the state second in the nation for vaccine refusal. So it’s not surprising Coloradans are reluctant when it comes to the HPV vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil in 2006 for females nine through 26 years old. Cervarix was approved in 2009. The vaccines protect against cervical and other cancers caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Monica Marshall will have her daughter vaccinated.

“Because I feel it’s very important for overall health long term,” Marshall said.

Dianne Betkowski isn’t sure what she’ll do for her three girls.

“My concerns are neurological damage, mainly,” Betkowski said.

Findings from the new U.S. study show parents seem to be increasingly worried about the vaccine’s safety. From 2008 to 2010 more girls were vaccinated against HPV, but the number of parents who said they would not vaccinate their daughters grew from 40 to 44 percent.

“There are certainly adverse events that can happen with any vaccine, but the HPV vaccine is a very safe vaccine,” Dr. Rachel Herlihy with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said.

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