Doctors say HPV vaccine should be mandated by states

Sermo poll gathers physician insights regarding cervical cancer prevention

Sermo, the leading global social media network exclusively for doctors and largest health care provider polling and survey company, announced today that 55 percent of 1,952 doctors think that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine should be mandated by states in order to boost vaccination rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that preteen boys and girls receive the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12 so they are protected before ever being exposed to the virus, which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer. Only 60 percent of girls and 42 percent of boys ages 13-17 had received at least one dose of the vaccination in 2014 according to CDC.

The Sermo survey about the HPV vaccine, which was done in honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, also asked doctors whether or not they would have their children vaccinated and at what age. Here were the results:

  • 55% of 1,952 doctors said they think HPV vaccinations should be mandated by states
  • 92% of 1,548 doctors said they would vaccinate their children
  • 38% of those doctors who said they would vaccinate their children said they would do it at age 11, 26% said they would vaccinate their children at age 12, 14% said they would vaccinate their children at age 13, and 22% said they would vaccinate their children at age 14 or older.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, twenty-five states and territories have enacted legislation to require the vaccine, fund or educate the public or school children about the HPV vaccine since 2006 and 3 states – Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia – require students to get the vaccine to attend school.

The issue of state mandates for the HPV vaccine sparked debate on Sermo with doctors on both sides.

One obstetrician/gynecologist said, “Government needs to stay out of this…It is not a public health concern in the same way as other infectious diseases. This is a medical decision that should be between parents and child and physician, who is in the best position to discuss pros/cons of vaccine vs. HPV risks.”

Dr. James Wilson, pediatrician and infectious disease forecaster based out of the University of Nevada-Reno, responded, “There is currently a substantial surge in STD transmission in this country, which is a proxy for HIV and HPV exposure. I’m shocked to see an OB/gyn assert, ‘it is not a public health concern in the same way as other infectious diseases.’ Cervical cancer is potentially lethal and can cost a woman her ability to bear children. I advocate mandatory vaccination for all school children.”

Another obstetrician/gynecologist had a different idea for how to get more pre-teens vaccinated.

“I think the rates would go up if the vaccine was offered in the schools. Information and permission slips could go home to the parents,” she said.

For an infographic of the full results of the survey, please click here.

This Sermo poll was administered via email to a random selection of members of the Sermo community in the United States. Participation was voluntary and results were kept anonymous. The margin of error is ±2.5 percent. It is calculated at the standard 95 percent confidence level. Therefore we can be 95 percent confident that the sample result reflects the active Sermo member base within the margin of error.

The question about state mandates was also posted within the Sermo social network, accounting for the larger sample size (only one vote was counted per participant). The margin of error for that question is ±2.2 percent.

About Sermo

Sermo is the leading global social network for physicians – the virtual doctors’ lounge and the home of medical crowdsourcing – where doctors anonymously share their true feelings about their profession and lives and talk ‘real world’ medicine. Sermo has more than 500,000 fully verified and licensed members and is now available for doctors in fifteen countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US. Founded in the US in 2005, Sermo’s mission is to revolutionize real world medicine and to unite physicians, providing them with a safe, private and trusted platform for free and open discussions. Sermo harnesses the collective wisdom of doctors, enabling medical crowdsourcing, knowledge sharing and thus the advancement of medicine.

Sermo is also the world’s largest healthcare professional polling and survey company with 1.6 million healthcare professional members in both the social network and a digital research network, spanning 80 countries. Sermo conducts 700,000 surveys a year.

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Media Contacts:
Randi Kahn, Public Relations Manager, Sermo;
o: +1.212.358.0800 x967
m: +1.631.697.8310

Cassidy Lawson, Racepoint Global;

Osnat Benshoshan, Chief Marketing Officer, Sermo