Human papillomavirus vaccination of the daughters of obstetricians and gynecologists in Japan
Most adolescents in Japan have recently been refraining from receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, following media reports of adverse medical events surrounding the vaccination and suspension of the Japanese governmental recommendation. We have previously reported that HPV vaccination of young girls is heavily influenced by guidance from their physicians concerning the vaccine and by the knowledge and attitude of the girls’ mothers towards cervical cancer. However, it has been unclear as to how the obstetricians and gynecologists were themselves affected by the negative media reports.
A questionnaire, including questions about their working status, attitudes toward HPV vaccination and about cervical cancer, and the HPV vaccination status of their daughters, was posted to obstetricians and gynecologists.
None of the daughters of the responding obstetrician and gynecologists received the HPV vaccination after the announced suspension of the governmental recommendation for the vaccine. The number who received the HPV vaccine in the 6th to 9th grade in 2014 was significantly lower than those in 2012 (p = 0.012). However, 64.7 % of the responders whose daughters were eligible and in the 6th to 12th grade still intended to vaccinate their daughters in the future. Of the responders, 65 % also intended to recommend vaccination to their teenage patients.
Our study revealed that obstetricians and gynecologists, like the general population, were negatively influenced by media reports of the adverse effect of the HPV vaccine and the suspension of the governmental recommendation. However, their intention to vaccinate their daughters was much higher than that of the general population. Restart of the governmental recommendation for HPV vaccines and better education about the HPV vaccine, including its adverse effects, and about cervical cancer and cervical cancer screening, are strongly recommended, for both the general public and for doctors, for improved prevention of cervical cancer.