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Girls welcome cervical cancer jab

Eight in 10 young girls believe that the cervical cancer vaccination would remind them of the risks of sexual contact and encourage them to be more serious about their own health.

A survey of 12 and 13-year-olds funded by Cervarix vaccine manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has found that four in five girls discussed the decision to have the vaccine with their parents.

Of those girls whose parents refused the vaccine, 42% actually wanted it, while just one in 10 of those who received the jab did not.

Meanwhile, one in four would not tell their boyfriend they had been vaccinated, one in five believe it is embarrassing, and 14% fear they may take more sexual risks if they are protected.

It is the first survey to focus on girls' views of the vaccine rather than those of their parents.

Dr Loretta Brabin, from the University of Manchester, led the study, which was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

She said: "Talking to their parents was massively influential on the girls, and mums and dads will play an important role in maintaining the success of the programme so far."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

British Journal of Cancer