Introduction/Background In Japan, the governmental recommendation for the HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccination has been suspended since June 2013 because of Japanese media reports of so-called adverse events.
As a result, the HPV vaccination rate in Japan was almost 70% before suspension of recommendation, but has decreased to less than 0.5% in recent years.
We conducted surveys on the opinions about the HPV vaccine of obstetricians and gynecologists three times between 2014 and 2019. Here, we report the change of opinions in a 5-year follow-up survey.
Methodology We posted our questionnaire on HPV vaccine in August 2014, January 2017, and June 2019 to 500–600 obstetricians and gynecologists in Osaka, Japan. We used the same structured format questionnaire, including questions about their personal opinions about HPV vaccination, cervical cancer screening, and the HPV vaccination status of their own daughters.
We compared results of three surveys and investigated their thoughts regarding whether the government should restart its recommendation for the vaccine and their intentions to recommend HPV vaccination to adolescence.
Results The rate of responders with thoughts that the Japanese government should restart its HPV vaccine recommendation was increased significantly, from 61.0% in survey of 2014 to 73.6% in 2017 (p=0.0027). The rate of doctors intending to recommend the HPV vaccine for teenagers also increased, from 65.2% in survey of 2014 to 70.1% in 2017 (p=0.26). The same tendency was observed in survey of 2019.
Conclusion Our three surveys indicated that opinions about HPV vaccination of obstetricians and gynecologists in Japan have been changed positively toward recommendation of HPV vaccination during 5 years. We must make an effort to give a correct understanding to not only obstetricians and gynecologists but all of women and healthcare providers.
Disclosure YU and AY received a lecture fee, and YU received a research grant (J550703673), from Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD). TK received a research fund (VT#55166) from MSD.
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