The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
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HPV lecture explains why some parents choose not to vaccinate their children

By Candi Bolden

Courtesy of KUER

In a lecture to the Health and Society Program Tuesday, Dr. Jasmine Tiro stressed the importance of the HPV vaccination and presented her research on why certain parents are reluctant to vaccinate their children against HPV.

During her presentation, Trio compared the vaccination rate for HPV to the vaccination rate for the T-dap (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis) and the rate for Meningococcal Vaccination.

“The T-dap and Meningococcal rate is increasing in vaccinations, which usually happens for vaccinations as they become more available, while the doses for HPV are in a plateau,” Tiro said.

Sophomore Hallie Hovey-Murray is a supporter of HPV vaccinations as a way to prevent cervical cancer.

“I was surprised to hear that Dallas has a low vaccination rate since is has good medical resources,” Hovey-Murray said.

Tiro, a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, believes that this is partially because of the newness of the vaccination, parents’ thoughts, healthcare providers, and the United States’ treatment of vaccinations.

To help the impact of healthcare providers, Tiro implemented a system that gives doctors an electronic standing of patients’ immunization records at each check up. If the patient is not vaccinated at the check up, the doctor has to supply a reason why they were not.

Tiro found that the most common reason parents choose not to vaccinate their children is because they do not have enough information. In response, Tiro and her research group decided to help inform parents about HPV.

“We wanted to mail educational materials out, for instance a brochure, before the clinical visit, and if they still declined the vaccination we called and asked why,” Tiro said.

Tiro reasoned that sending out brochures reminds parents about the vaccination before their visit and allows them to research comfortably and at their own pace.

According to Tiro, the brochures did help inform parents, but also formed another problem.

“A lot of women were too suspicious on the emphasis on HPV and thought that the vaccination was too new,” Tiro said.

The HPV vaccination was approved and recommended in 2006 after voluntary testing was done with 16,000 women, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the information in Tiro’s brochures.

SMU professor Austin Baldwin worked as the co-principal investigator in the next part of the information process. Baldwin worked with the research group’s iPad-based intervention project that had parents look at information and record their opinions about the HPV vaccine.

“My expertise is in the psychological processes that help us understand self-persuasion and why it would work as an intervention,” Baldwin said.

At the end of her lecture, Tiro compared the vaccination rates in different countries. According to the President’s Cancer Panel Annual Report for 2012-2013, the coverage for the three-dose vaccination for HPV in Australia and the UK is 71.2 percent and 60.4 percent respectively. The U.S. has a rate of 33.4 percent.

“So why do we suck at vaccinating as a country? We don’t deliver vaccines in school,” Tiro said.

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