One in five girls think the HPV vaccine is embarrassing because it is for a sexually transmitted infection, researchers have revealed.
The study, published in the British Journal of Cancer, was led by Dr Loretta Brabin from the University of Manchester who discovered one in four girls would not tell their boyfriend they had received the jab.
Over 500 girls aged between 12 and 13 were questioned for the survey which is the first to focus on the girl’s opinion rather than concentrating on the parents.
It showed 14% of girls thought they may take more sexual risks in the future because they were protected.
But 93% thought the vaccine showed they took their health seriously and 79% said it helped them remember the possible risks of sexual contact.
Almost four in five girls said they discussed the decision to have the vaccine with their parents and, of those girls whose parents refused the vaccine, 42% actually wanted it. However, one in 10 girls receiving the jab did not want it.
The research was funded by the producers of the Cervarix vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline. Cervarvix is currently used for the national immunisation scheme.
Dr Brabin said: “Talking to their parents was massively influential on the girls, and mums and dads will play an important role in maintaining the success of the programme so far.”