HPV vaccination: parents' rights

All girls are offered the HPV vaccine routinely when they are 12-13 years old – that is when they are in year eight at school.

Girls are offered the vaccine to protect them against cervical cancer. Around 1,000 women die from cervical cancer in the UK each year.

Why will my daughter be offered the HPV vaccination before she’s 16?

The virus that causes cervical cancer, called human papilloma virus (HPV), is spread by having sex or being sexually intimate with another person who has the virus. So it’s natural that, as a parent, you may question why the HPV vaccine will be given to your daughter before she reaches the age of consent at 16.

While most girls don’t start having sex until they’re 16 or older, it’s best for them to be vaccinated a few years earlier so they get the most benefit from the vaccine.

If the HPV vaccine is given after a young woman has become sexually active, it’s possible she may already be infected with the virus, and it’s therefore too late for the vaccine to fully protect her.

What if my daughter doesn’t want the HPV vaccination?

Your daughter has to sign a consent form before she can be vaccinated. So she doesn’t have to have the HPV vaccine if she doesn’t want to. However, it’s worth making sure she’s thought things through. The HPV vaccine has a good safety record and will protect her against cervical cancer for many years.

Suggest she speaks to the nurse or doctor if she wants more information, on her own, or with you if she’d prefer.

Read more about HPV vaccination.

What if my daughter wants the vaccination, but I’d rather she didn’t have it?

The decision to have the vaccine is legally your daughter's, as long as she understands the issues in giving consent. Discuss this with your daughter, the doctor or nurse to get more information.

Last Updated: 17/02/2022 16:04:42
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website