HPV vaccination in Japan: results of a 3-year follow-up survey of obstetricians and gynecologists regarding their opinions toward the vaccine
In Japan, the cervical cancer preventative HPV vaccination rate has dramatically declined, directly as a result of repeated broadcasts of so-called adverse events and the resulting suspension of the government’s recommendation. Our previous survey of obstetricians and gynecologists in Japan regarding their opinions toward HPV vaccination revealed that these key specialists were as negatively influenced by the reports of purported negative events as were the general population. Here, we report a 3-year follow-up survey of these clinicians.
We reused the same questionnaire format as used in our 2014 survey, but added new questions concerning opinions regarding a WHO statement and reports of a Japanese nation-wide epidemiological study related to the adverse events, released in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
The response rate was 46% (259/567): 5 (16.1%) of 31 doctors had inoculated their own teenaged daughters during the time period since the previous survey, despite the continued suspension of the governmental recommendation, whereas in the previous survey none of the doctors had done so. Among the respondents, the majority claimed awareness of the recent pro-vaccine WHO statement (66.5%), and of the report of a Japanese epidemiological study (71.5%), and a majority affirmed they currently held positive opinions of the safety (72.7%) and effectiveness (84.3%) of the HPV vaccine.
Our re-survey of Japan’s obstetricians and gynecologists regarding their opinions about the HPV vaccine found that their opinions have changed, potentially leading to a more positive future re-engagement for HPV vaccination in Japan.
KeywordsHPV vaccine Adverse event Suspension Obstetrics Gynecology Opinion
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
World Health Organization
We thank Dr. Masumi Sawada for his constructive critique of the questionnaire; Ms. Kanako Sakiyama, Ms. Rie Teramoto, Ms. Natsumi Mizuno, Ms. Ayako Okamura, and Ms. Mami Morikawa for their support in conducting the survey, and Dr. G.S. Buzard for his constructive critique and editing of our manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
This study was approved by our Institutional Review Board and Ethics Committee. Yutaka Ueda received a grant from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (Grant Number 15ck0106103h0102) and has received lecture fees from GlaxoSmithKline/Japan Vaccine and received lecture fees, research funds, and consultation fees from Merck Sharp & Dohme. Asami Yagi received a lecture fee from Merck Sharp & Dohme. Tadashi Kimura received a lecture fee from GlaxoSmithKline/Japan Vaccine and research funds from Merck Sharp & Dohme.
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