What are some of the concerns parents have about the HPV vaccine?

Kari R. Harris, MD
I think safety is the biggest concern parents have about the HPV vaccine. Obviously, parents want to make sure anything they give to their child is going to be safe and effective. Another concern I hear a lot is parents don’t understand why it is necessary to give their child the HPV vaccine when their kids aren’t sexually active and potentially won’t be sexually active with more than one person in their lifetime. It’s the most prevalent STD, so even those who aren’t having sex now and will only have one partner in the future have a high likelihood of being exposed to it.
UCLA Health
Initially, Kellie Ernzen Kruger, M.D., internal medicine-pediatrics specialist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica heard concern from some parents about the potential for their children to receive the wrong message from being given the vaccine. Administration of the vaccine is accompanied by counseling designed to convey what it protects against and what it doesn’t, as well as the other risk factors associated with sex. When all of this is explained, Dr. Kruger says, “most parents are very supportive of giving this to their daughter.”

Continue Learning about HPV



Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that can sometimes cause genital warts. Certain types of HPV can also cause cancer in some individuals. Some people never know they have HPV at all, since symptoms arent ...

always noticeable. If you are sexually active, you are at risk for contracting HPV. About 50% of people that have sex acquire HPV in their lifetime, but far less than that will ever develop genital warts. If you are between 9 and 26 and want to reduce your risk of getting HPV, talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccination.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.