Why Aren’t Utah Parents Using the HPV Vaccine?


Public health officials have recommended the Gardasil or Cervarix vaccination to prevent cervical cancer since 2006, but in spite of the proven health benefits, only about 25% of age-eligible children in Utah will get the vaccination. Declining vaccination numbers are partially related to the number of injections required, coupled with  parent concerns that the vaccination is tacit acceptance of promiscuity, and a belief that marriage equates to prevention. Vaccination numbers are on the decline in Utah in spite of the fact that  “since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, vaccine-type HPV prevalence decreased 56 percent among female teenagers 14-19 years of age.”

Is there any truth to the fear that Gardasil or Cervarix will insight promiscuity? The short answer is NO.  And if promiscuity is your biggest concern, you need to reevaluate your parenting skills, because everyone should agree that cancer is much worse than premarital sex.

HPV Vaccination Facts

There are two major vaccinations offered in the United States, Gardasil and Cervarix. Both vaccines require a series of 3 injections and are available for women and boys from age 9-25. The Gardasil vaccine in particular touts some amazing health benefits:

  • In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause approximately 90% of genital warts cases.
  • In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against approximately 90% of genital warts cases.
  • GARDASIL also helps protect girls and young women ages 9 to 26 against about 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.

Vaccinations for the Uninsured

If you’re unable to get your child vaccinated against HPV due to a lack of insurance, or a lack of coverage from your insurance, please try the Vaccinations for Children fund. For people in Utah who need help with vaccinations, the following contact information might prove useful:

Utah Department of Health, Immunization Program:

288 North 1460 West

P.O. Box 142001

Salt Lake City, UT 84114-2001

Fax: 801-538-9440


Janel Jorgenson: Provider Relations Coordinator (801-538-9450) & Karen Tsuyuki: Vaccine Management Coordinator (801-538-9450).

 The bottom line is this: Unless your child is allergic to the ingredients in HPV vaccinations, there is no good reason to forego the vaccine.


  1. I definitely see a case for the protection, but I’m hesitant because it’s so new, its long-term risks aren’t understood yet either. I’m okay with holding out until my kids are old enough to choose for themselves.

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