'Further research needed' into HPV vaccine uptake

Further research is needed to understand why many young women are not receiving a vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), it has been suggested.

Nancy Breen, an economist with the Applied Research Program of the US National Cancer Institute, is concerned that despite strong links existing between the virus and cervical cancer, injections are not being received by all.

The HPV virus is associated with around 90 per cent of genital warts and 70 per cent of cervical cancers, but four of the most common strains can be protected against through a series of three injections over a six-month period.

In a survey conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, 31 per cent of those women aged between 18 and 26 who had not received the vaccine said it was due to a lack of available information.

Among parents of those eligible for the jabs, this figure rises to 54 per cent.

Concerns over its safety and necessity were also cited as frequent justifications for a failure to seek protection against HPV.

On a more positive front, Dr Breen stated: "What we do know is that many girls and women are getting the vaccine. That's good news in the fight against cervical cancer."

HPV can affect the skin and the moist membranes lining body parts such as the mouth, throat, cervix and anus.ADNFCR-2094-ID-19036486-ADNFCR