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Sexual Health (young people)

The HPV Vaccination Programme

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the main cause of cervical cancer in women. There are many types of HPV and the HPV vaccine provides protection against the two high risk types (types 16 and 18) that cause 70% of all cervical cancers (NHS Choices 2014). Other low-risk types cause anal and vaginal warts. Women need to be vaccinated before they come into contact with the virus. The virus is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact, usually by sexual activity. There is currently no medical treatment for HPV but there are treatments for the problems that HPV can cause such as cervical cancer and genital warts. Being vaccinated against it and practising safe sex (penetrative or oral) by using condoms are the best ways to reduce the chance of infection.
 

A doctor talks about the HPV vaccine, who is eligible for it, and its aims.

A doctor talks about the HPV vaccine, who is eligible for it, and its aims.

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This is a vaccination that protects young ladies against, there’s two strains, two common strains of the high risk Human Papilloma Virus. The HPV 16 and 18. It’s available on the NHS to girls aged between thirteen and eighteen. And I think it comes as three vaccinations. You get one at time zero, one two months later, and one six months later. And it’s been shown in tests to offer good protection.

Now it’s important to remember that it doesn’t protect against all the Human Papilloma Viruses, so these girls should still go and have screening when they get to the age where they’re eligible for screening. But I think it’s a good idea. And I think it’s ensuring good protection and, over time, should lead to a reduction in the rate of cervical cancer by the order of, people are quoting between 50 and 80%.
Routine HPV vaccination was introduced in 2008 for girls aged 12-13 (school year 8). The Catch-Up Programme also started in 2008 offering the vaccine to girls aged up to 18 and this ended in most of the UK in 2011. In 2012 by the Department of Health recommended to the routine vaccination programme for 12-13 year olds be offered in schools.
 
We talked to 12 to 16 year old girls, all in full-time education about their experience of HPV vaccination. All were vaccinated in school, some attended a school assembly where a Primary Care Trust nurse talked about the programme and they received an information leaflet and a consent form to take to their parents. Girls who had the HPV vaccine a few years ago didn’t remember much about what was said at the assembly talk and their decision to be vaccinated seemed to be based on a combination of their parents’ attitude, talking with others their age and their own understanding of HPV. 
 

Paula talks about the health messages she got from the Catch Up Programme and how she felt about it.

Paula talks about the health messages she got from the Catch Up Programme and how she felt about it.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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Well I remember the nurses.  Well we got an assembly on it, a few weeks before we got the first vaccination. And then we just got three vaccinations in the period of six months.
 
Ok so every two months?
 
Yeah, yeah
 
Do you remember some of the, what they said to you about why they were doing it?
 
I think they just explained it to us and we got a leaflet about it and then a form to give to our parents.
 
But do you remember what they said about it or not?
 
No not really. They just explained what it was to us.
 
And you read the leaflet yourself or you just gave it to your mum?
 
I probably just gave it to my mum [laugh].
 
You were 12 years old?
 
Yeah
 
So any kind of messages that stayed with you?
 
That it was to reduce the risks of getting cervical cancer when we are older but it doesn’t prevent getting sexually transmitted diseases.
 
Would have liked more information about it?
 
No I didn’t really have any questions about it [HPV vaccine] because I thought it was just something that I had to get for my health. So I didn’t really question it much. I just thought it was pretty straightforward.
 

Delilah says the nurse provided an introduction to the HPV vaccination programme and talked about certain health circumstances that made it unsafe to have the vaccine.

Delilah says the nurse provided an introduction to the HPV vaccination programme and talked about certain health circumstances that made it unsafe to have the vaccine.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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And who explained why the vaccine was a good idea?
 
Well I think there was an assembly on it, I think and then when we went in, when we actually getting the injections the woman [the nurse] or the person who did it was, gave us a bit of information, like just gave us a summary of it. I think she just told us why she was doing it which was just, yeah, to decrease the chance of it [cervical cancer].
 
Ok so how big was this assembly?
 
Well I think it was just for our year group just because we were the ones, just for the girls I think. I think when we were queuing up in to the hall they told us a little bit about it just before we went in.
 
Did you have a chance to ask questions?
 
Yeah we did. They did ask if we wanted to ask anything but they asked us a lot of questions that they needed to know. So you know: ‘are you on any medication, could you be pregnant’. Things like that like, ‘Are you allergic to any of the needles or anything’.
 
Do you remember any other questions they asked or any other information?
 
Not any particular information in itself I just remember them asking the questions of: ‘are you on any medication; could you be pregnant; are you‘. I think it was just, ‘Are you allergic to anything’ and not that you have any like. Yeah I think it was just allergic things just so that they could be completely safe when they were giving it so…
In Lara’s school there was no assembly to talk about the HPV vaccination Programme just the information leaflet. 
 

Lara thinks that the leaflet gave all the information she needed about what the HPV vaccine is for. She thinks it’s difficult to organise an assembly in mixed gender schools.

Lara thinks that the leaflet gave all the information she needed about what the HPV vaccine is for. She thinks it’s difficult to organise an assembly in mixed gender schools.

Age at interview: 13
Sex: Female
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Well at the beginning of the year we got a letter, just the girls in our class. And we had to take it home and read it with our parents and they had to sign and put all the information like our birthday and how old we are and our gender. So about Oct, about the end of 2012 we had our first jab and we just, they didn’t talk to us about it in assembly because it’s a mixed school.
 
Do you think that would have been a good thing to have someone there, a nurse, explaining things to you?
It would but I think it would be quite complicated because they would have to take out like all the girls from each class because each class is mixed so it would be quite hard to like get all the girls out of one class and then talk to them and have to go all the way around the school finding all the classes. So it would be just easier, I think doing the leaflet was quite good because in that way we could read it ourselves and discuss it instead of having someone else tell us it and like not being able to discuss it with our parents because they tell us directly.
Two types of HPV vaccines are available in the UK: Cervarix and Gardasil. Cervarix protects against HPV 16 and HPV 18 and aims to reduce the number of people who get cervical cancer. Cervarix was used by the vaccination programme until 2011. Gardasil protects against four strains of HPV: 16, 18, 6 and 11 and protects against cervical cancer as well as genital warts. Gardasil was used by the vaccination programme from September 2012. Cervarix and Gardasil give 99% protection against these types of HPV, for at least 6 years.

Most of the young people we talked with were vaccinated with Cervarix except for Lara who was vaccinated after September 2012 and therefore, with Gardasil. 
 

Lara is aware that the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, protects against cervical cancer and genital warts.

Lara is aware that the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, protects against cervical cancer and genital warts.

Age at interview: 13
Sex: Female
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Well it [HPV vaccine] protects us against cervical cancer and genital warts and stops us from getting like HPV and so that nothing happens in the past, in the future.
 
Ok because the HPV can cause..?
Yeah because the HPV can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.
 
So did you know much about genital warts or?
 
Well I knew, I knew what they were but like I never really read about them or watched anything about them or anything like that.
 
And what about genital, sorry, cervical cancer?
 
I knew about that yeah. I knew that like you could get it and I knew that if we did have the jabs we wouldn’t not have it at all but we would be a lower chance that we would have it.
 
So that was the information you got from reading the leaflet with your friends?
 
Yeah, yeah.
 
And how did you feel about getting the vaccine?
 
Well I wanted to get it because I knew it wouldn’t, it would maybe not help, maybe not get, I would maybe not get cancer and warts but I was fine with getting it. I was just a bit scared because I don’t like jabs.
The information leaflet was usually talked about with friends at school and in some cases with parents. Most parents seemed to have been happy with the information given in the leaflet but, Paula remembers her mother looking for more information about the HPV vaccination programme on the internet. All the young girls we talked with thought it important to get protection and said it was their decision rather than their parents’ decision to get the HPV jab. The girls we talked with were unsure if the HPV vaccine offered protection for life, or how long the protection lasted, or if they needed to have a booster later on. The length of vaccine protection (immunity) is usually not known when a vaccine is first introduced. "Studies have already shown that the vaccine protects against HPV infection for around 10 years, although experts expect protection to be for much longer" - NHS Choices September 2014.
 

Isabella feels that she was given enough information about why it was important to get the HPV jab but incorrectly thinks the vaccine provides protection for life.

Isabella feels that she was given enough information about why it was important to get the HPV jab but incorrectly thinks the vaccine provides protection for life.

Age at interview: 16
Sex: Female
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Well they gave background information on like how it’s brought about and, you know, the effects and the long term effects. And I know it got introduced because of the death of Jade Goody and so it was, you know, how it can happen to anyone and so it was quite relevant at the time as well. So they just, yeah. I mean they didn’t go into it like a great depth of like science but it was like they told us. They talked about the virus itself and like, so yeah.
 
What do you think about it?
 
I think it’s great. I mean for someone who might not know about it and who isn’t in a position to find out about it it’s an amazing thing and it’s free. And it’s protection for life essentially against something that is so common and it’s treatable so I think it’s just. And they give you information about it so.
The vaccine is given in three doses, the second dose being 1-2 months after the first and the third at 6 months after the first. The vaccine is not given to pregnant women and very ill people should wait until feeling better. The girls we talked with said that, at every vaccination session, nurses enquired about pregnancy or illness. And nurses also asked about any allergic reactions to a previous dose of HPV vaccine. Young people were also aware that if they missed the vaccination date at school they could have it done at their GP surgery. Concerns about having the vaccine were mostly limited to whether the injection would hurt.
 

Lara talks about what nurses do during an HPV vaccination session and how she felt.

Lara talks about what nurses do during an HPV vaccination session and how she felt.

Age at interview: 13
Sex: Female
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So we just went into the hall and they sat us down and they asked us just a couple of questions like ‘Do we feel ill? Have we had any jabs previously?’ And like, just questions like that. And then after they gave us the jab and we went back to class after a bit.
 
And then the next jab was around January and, yeah the beginning of January and we did the same. They asked us the same questions and…
 
So which questions did they ask you? If you have had jabs before or?
 
Yeah they have. They asked if we had had jabs previously like in this year and they asked us if we felt ill. If the last jab we had made us feel like nauseous.
 
Nauseous yeah
 
And questions like that and about our birthday and stuff. So then we had, we took…
 
Which other questions?
 
They asked us one that was like, ‘If you are pregnant’ because you can’t take it if you are pregnant. And then I think that was it. And then after we just left if we felt ok and we didn’t feel like dizzy or anything if the jab like hurt us in any way we could just leave but if we did feel a bit bad then we had to stay there for a bit. And then in March we went in again and we did the same thing. They asked us the same questions and we. They asked the same questions and at the end they gave us a band to take home to show that we had had the HPV jabs.
 
Part B
Well when we went it they [nurses] told us that as well, when we went into the hall where they were sitting but also when we sat down they like, they told us that, ‘We’ve done this many times to many other students’. And that they have the certificate and everything just to make sure if we have any worries that they don’t know how to do it or something like that.
 
Ok so they. Do you remember anything else?
 
Like what?
 
About the nurse or the trained nurses?
 
And they had assistant nurses next to them and I think they were learning how to, like learning how to do it and like how to treat the students just in case they’re nervous or something.
 
So you had sort of trained nurses and assistant nurses. How many in total were there?
 
There was about six tables or seven. I can’t remember exactly. They were spread out along the hall and there was a special place where if you felt very faint then you could go behind there and just like sit down. But…
 
So each table has a trained nurse and an assistant?
 
And it has all the equipment and it has a bucket where it disposes of the dirty needles and it has, and she a bag or something like, a box I think it was of needles that have been cleaned and no one else has used them or hasn’t touched anyone else’s skin.
 

Amelia says the vaccination at her school was straightforward but she felt worried about possible side-effects.

Amelia says the vaccination at her school was straightforward but she felt worried about possible side-effects.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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When the nurses came to your school a second time to do the HPV vaccination, did they explain again or?
 
No. We just went into the hall in our classes and then we went to each individual sort of section so there were four nurses and obviously they were blocked off so no one could see and they just, they asked you some questions. Things like, ‘Are you pregnant’ or ‘Have you eaten in the last 24 hours’ and things like that and that was kind of it really.
 
Did you have any concerns, were you worried about having this vaccine or not?
 
Not really. I guess I didn’t really know so much about it that I had the need to worry I guess. The only thing I worried about was if something, like you said, if I was to like have a reaction afterwards badly, a fever or something like that.
 
Did they ask about potential side effects or not?
 
I think they just said, I remember them mentioning that, you know, if you feel like dizzy or quite sick you should like tell someone obviously.
 

Delilah talks about having the jabs, how she felt afterwards and the advice she got from the nurses.

Delilah talks about having the jabs, how she felt afterwards and the advice she got from the nurses.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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Can you describe what happens during the HPV vaccination? What was involved, how long did it take?
 
It took about, like the whole process took about 3 minutes, 4 minutes so not long. I don’t think…
 
Ok what was involved?
Well we went in and they took our name and they ticked us off and everything and registered us. And then we’d go into our separate nurses and they’d ask us all the questions. And then I think they, I think they disinfected, you know, wiped you with disinfectant and then they. Well if you wanted they showed you the clean needle but quite a lot of people didn’t want to look at it but. And then they’d do it and they’d put cotton wool in and then put the tape on and then we could go.
 
Did they give you any kind of advice?
 
Well they told us how to look after it. So, you know, if it’s, if you feel like it’s bleeding keep it on but wash it with a disinfectant wipe or just some water and it will ache for a couple of days. They told us what to expect and you know, to keep trying to move our arms. So that was all very helpful. Yeah and then we had a cervical cancer band to take home to show that we’ve had it [ha].
 
Ok. Did it ache?
 
Yeah it ached for a couple of days.
 
Did you feel unwell in any other way?
 
Well I think I heard, I felt a bit like nauseous but yeah I think that was probably just from the jab itself, like from the shock but yeah I think it was just nauseous.
 
All the girls we talked with were told by nurses to get in touch with their doctor or a nurse if they felt unwell after having a dose of the vaccine. Some had a mild reaction after the injection. Mild problems include redness, tenderness, or swelling where the injection is given.
 

Lara’s arm went numb for a short period after the HPV injection

Lara’s arm went numb for a short period after the HPV injection

Age at interview: 13
Sex: Female
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Now tell me about the vaccine itself. Did you have any reaction to it? Were you feeling nauseous or feverish or?
 
Well the first one I was fine with it. It’s just, my arm, you’re arm goes numb after but that happened in all three of them so it wasn’t anything.
 
For how long?
 
For about an hour but like it, it wasn’t hard to write or anything because I write with this hand and they gave it on this hand but so it was fine. But the second time I felt a bit like a headache and then the third time I felt a bit dizzy but I was fine because my friends were there so they could help me.
 
Ok but how often did they give you the vaccine?
 
Every like, like two or three months they would give it to me because the first one was in around November and October. I think October. The second one was in January and the third one was in March, so like about three, two-month interval between each jab.
 

Paula says she got given a card that nurses signed each time she got her jabs. Her arm usually hurt for a day or so after each jab. Keywords: HPV vaccine, school, side-effects

Paula says she got given a card that nurses signed each time she got her jabs. Her arm usually hurt for a day or so after each jab. Keywords: HPV vaccine, school, side-effects

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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How did you feel?
 
Well we were, we were told to line up and then we went in and said our name and got given a piece of paper and then we went. There were lots of nurses around the hall and we got called to one when one of them was free and we sat down and then they asked us a series of questions like if you are pregnant or if are feeling ill. Yeah and then they told us to just breathe and they just did it. And then we left.
 
Ok did they give you any advice in case you felt unwell?
 
Yeah they said it should it would just hurt a bit and then there aren’t. If it made you feel ill that you should tell them and then they would tell you what to do.
 
And did you have any side effects? How did you feel after having it?
 
I felt fine. It did hurt a bit. Couldn’t move my arm much.
 
For how long?
 
It still hurt the next morning.
 
Ok
 
Yeah but and it didn’t bleed too much either so I think it was fine.
 
Ok and the second time you had it, did they send you a reminder or how did it happen because you had three vaccines?
 
Yeah I remember the first time we got given a card and then they [nurses] would sign it each time that you got the vaccination.
 
Ok and the three vaccines were given to you in the school?
 
Yeah in the school.
 
Ok
 
And then if you would miss one then you would go to get it done at your GP.
 
Ok they explained that to you?
 
Yeah.
Young women we talked with said they would welcome more information. They felt that, at the time of getting the vaccine, they were too young to understand it all or thought that not enough information was made available to them by nurses giving the talk. School assemblies, citizenship lessons or leaflets were all thought to be good ways to provide further information. 
 

Paula thinks that more information is needed about STIs (sexually transmitted infections), HPV and cervical cancer before they leave school.

Paula thinks that more information is needed about STIs (sexually transmitted infections), HPV and cervical cancer before they leave school.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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I think it [more information] would be quite helpful because there are a lot of things which can affect us that we don’t know about.
 
Some of them sexually transmitted diseases don’t have symptoms so we would need to, we need to just basically know more about them and also who to go to if you get one.
 
So do you think you need some sort of information specifically about the HPV vaccine now that you are older?
 
Yeah because it will, because when we were younger we wouldn’t have understood it as well. Now that we are older we will understand it better.
 
We did have these [citizenship lessons]. The sixth formers did a presentation on it in Year 9 but I don’t do citizenship anymore. I finished last year but I remember in Year 9 these people came in but they didn’t talk about cervical cancer they talked about other ones like Herpes and Chlamydia and stuff like that.
 
Not about human papilloma virus?
 
No I don’t remember anything about that.
 

Amelia thinks that Citizenship lessons should have included discussions about HPV and cervical cancer while the vaccination programme was taking place.

Amelia thinks that Citizenship lessons should have included discussions about HPV and cervical cancer while the vaccination programme was taking place.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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I think probably an actual lesson on it really in our citizenship lessons at that age when we were having the injections. It would have probably been quite useful because leaflets, not many people read the leaflets or maybe don’t pay attention in assemblies which aren’t particularly long. But if it’s in an actual lesson with like, especially with your friends and things then you can discuss it with your friends and how they feel. And the teacher can tell you about, the information about it and then you’ll know it and you’ll actually be able to like think about it more.
 

Delilah says there was not enough information for her to understand how the HPV vaccine would protect her from cervical cancer.

Delilah says there was not enough information for her to understand how the HPV vaccine would protect her from cervical cancer.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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I think they could have given a bit more information like actually told us what the injection would do, like how it would, how the actual substance would completely help it. You know, help our chances for the decrease in cervical cancer and the percentages of it working. I can’t remember them saying anything about, you know, that there’s a 90% that it would, you’ll never get it or kind of thing. I don’t remember them saying anything.
 
I think yeah. I think more information would have been good just because I remember being quite curious about it, not really knowing about it. I think it would be quite handy to know that information, yeah.
 
Ok so… do you think it would be a good idea for them to send more information now that you are older?
 
Yeah definitely because we will have understood it now a lot when we are older because I mean we were only 12 so half of what they were saying we hadn’t really heard of before but.
 
Do think it would be a good idea to provide you with a kind of… or top up the information they initially gave you with more information now at your age?
 
Yeah I think that would be a really good idea at this age especially because this is quite well, from the age of 15/16 is when more and more people are getting sexually active. So obviously that’s, I think that’s a prime age for finding out information. And obviously we are all a lot more mature so we will have known a lot more about it anyway so we will have more understanding of it.
 
And how would you like that sort of information or advice to be provided: as a leaflet, or somebody going to school to talk about things that are relevant including HPV vaccination and cervical screening and
 
I think both really because it’s quite. It’s helpful when someone comes in to talk to you about it because you can, obviously it’s very personal and it’s, you can talk to them face-to-face for questions but I think it’s also handy to have a leaflet there, you know, if you forget the information or if you want it you can look for it for yourself. I think that would be good.
 
Lara completed the vaccination programme in 2013 and feels she had enough information to understand the health risks of the papilloma virus and the benefits of the HPV vaccine.

All of the young people we talked with understood that the HPV vaccine does not protect against unwanted pregnancy or any other sexually transmitted infection (STI). They knew that only a condom can help prevent a STI. Similarly, young people saw no relationship between having the HPV vaccine and sexual behaviour, but stressed the importance of using contraception if, and when they became sexually active. 
 

Isabella feels that more needs to be done to make sure young women understand that the HPV vaccine doesn’t prevent STIs or unwanted pregnancy.

Isabella feels that more needs to be done to make sure young women understand that the HPV vaccine doesn’t prevent STIs or unwanted pregnancy.

Age at interview: 16
Sex: Female
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I think maybe, maybe a follow-up as in like maybe a talk afterwards to be like, ‘Do you really understand’ because it happened and we had the vaccines and then we never heard again about it. So I don’t know, you know, maybe.
 
That’s a good idea, a good idea. So do you think they should do a follow-up in terms of give you more information?
 
Yeah
 
Ok so for instance a health professional, a nurse or a doctor to go and say, ‘Ok you are…?
 
Yeah. So you’ve had the vaccine and this is the next steps.
 
Exactly
 
I think because with us it was very much we had it done and that was it. We never just spoke about it or heard about it ever again. We just had the vaccine.
 
And what information would you like or what information do you think would be important for young people to have?
 
Definitely to solidify the fact that like if you do choose to become sexually active like it doesn’t protect you, it definitely doesn’t. And you know maybe, you know a bit more information on the severity and like of the disease and like, you know, how good, maybe you know, pass information on to other people and like basically break down the ignorance that people might have towards it. I think.
 
What do you mean by it doesn’t protect you?
 
For example against it’s like Chlamydia or, you know you still have to. You know it’s not going to stop you from getting pregnant so you have to still use protection. I think a lot of people saw it as maybe that, ‘Oh ok so now I’ve had the vaccine it’s alright to, you know.
 
Not to use condoms or?
 
Yeah.
 
…or other forms of contraception.
 
Yeah.
 
That’s very important because I mean it’s sort of misconception and lack of information of understanding what the HPV vaccine is really for.
 
Yeah and I think if it’s just a talk because ours was just a talk in the morning and in the morning everyone is groggy and everyone is tired. No one really wants to be there so a lot of people just shut off and just fall maybe, you know, dose off. And you know it would just like solidify the information and have it, you know, in mind.
 

Lara says that, if you are going to have sex, you need to use a condom.

Lara says that, if you are going to have sex, you need to use a condom.

Age at interview: 13
Sex: Female
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I think you should have intercourse with a condom even if you do have the jabs because it’s not protecting you completely. It’s just lowering the chances that you don’t catch genital warts or HPV or cancer but. So you should always protect yourself unless you want to start a family.
 
But what do you think about the idea that some parents have that it is better not to give their teenage daughter the HPV vaccination because the girls might think that they can go and have sex basically.
 
Well that’s probably worse because it’s more likely that they do get the HPV than not getting it because it’s protecting you against it so if they did go and have sex there would be a much lower chance that they did get it then than if they didn’t get the jab at all.
The parents of the young women we talked with seemed to have supported and encouraged their daughters to get vaccinated but they knew of friends whose parents felt differently and didn’t consent for their daughters to get the HPV vaccine.
 

Some of Isabella’s friends didn’t get the HPV vaccine at school due to parents’ concerns, including fearing that daughters may become sexually active after being protected from HPV.

Some of Isabella’s friends didn’t get the HPV vaccine at school due to parents’ concerns, including fearing that daughters may become sexually active after being protected from HPV.

Age at interview: 16
Sex: Female
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I think it was just such an obvious thing to get done, you know. There was no, there was no thinking about it. I should just have it done, you know. So it was more like…
 
Did you talk to your friends about it?
 
Yeah. A lot of my friends didn’t get it done.
 
No?
 
No.
 
Why?
 
Maybe afraid of the unknown. I don’t know. They just, they, a lot of parents weren’t comfortable with having their children having it done so quite a few of them didn’t have it done.
 
Was there any reason, why they were not…?
 
Because you know a lot of parents thought that if they had the vaccine that then they would see it as like they, if they would but they’d become sexually active or, and it would be like an excuse and they could, they were able now because they were, they had the vaccine. So I mean and also just because it had just been introduced so like they weren’t too sure about it. So also some parents just preferred to get it done through their GP and didn’t want to have it done through the schools.
 
But what would you say to parents who have this attitude, these concerns?
 
I mean if their, know their children. I mean I personally wouldn’t see it as a reason to go out. I wouldn’t think like that but I guess some parents are afraid that that might be brought about by, from having the vaccine but I mean I think if your children are going to become sexually active at least know that they are safe. I think that’s, think that’s the best thing.
 

Amelia thinks that parents shouldn’t worry because HPV vaccination happens when girls are very young. She says that girls her age are sensible, cautious and know about safe sex.

Amelia thinks that parents shouldn’t worry because HPV vaccination happens when girls are very young. She says that girls her age are sensible, cautious and know about safe sex.

Age at interview: 15
Sex: Female
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Some parents think that the HPV vaccine can have an effect on teenage sexual behaviour for example that their daughters might engage in more risky behaviour like having sort of sex without a condom. What are your views on that?
 
Well I personally don’t think it is true because I think because we had it so long ago that you don’t really think about it now. I guess because also you’re thinking about other things and that you don’t really think about the fact that you’ve had the injection so you still do think that you do need to use contraception.
 
What would you say to those parents that think along those lines?
 
I would say probably it’s fair enough to be sort of protective and wary I guess but really that, they don’t need to worry because like people especially like of our generation are actually very cautious and you are careful and use protection and are very sensible I guess.

Last reviewed January 2016.
Last updated January 2016.
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