Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Hesitancy Highly Evident among Caregivers of Girls Attending South African Private Schools

Tracy Milondzo, Johanna C. Meyer, Carine Dochez, Rosemary J. Burnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The viral spread of social media misinformation and disinformation regarding human pa-pillomavirus (HPV) vaccination safety has resulted in widespread vaccine hesitancy and suboptimal HPV vaccination uptake. We previously reported that only 19.4% of age-eligible private school girls in South Africa in 2018 had received ≥1 HPV vaccine dose. Here, we report on reasons given by caregivers for why their daughters were unvaccinated. An online survey targeting caregivers of girls in grades 4–7 attending South African private schools was conducted. Caregivers of unvaccinated girls provided the most important reason for their daughter not being vaccinated by either selecting from a list of coded reasons or providing a free text reason. Free text reasons were analysed, coded and added to the list of coded reasons, which were categorised according to broad themes. Frequency distributions of reasons and categories were calculated. Most reasons were related to vaccine hesitancy (61.4%), followed by lack of access to the vaccine (21.3%) and lack of information (15.7%). HPV vaccination coverage among age-eligible girls can be improved by including private-sector schools in the South African HPV vaccination programme, training healthcare providers to advocate for HPV vaccination and extending HPV vaccination advocacy campaigns to include private-sector educators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number503
JournalVaccines
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • South Africa
  • human papillomavirus vaccine
  • private-sector schools
  • reasons
  • vaccination coverage
  • vaccine hesitancy

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