We sought to characterize parents who look for second medical opinions to get human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for their children and whether second opinions influenced acceptance of HPV vaccine. Between July and August 2019, we conducted an online survey with a national sample of 906 parents of adolescents ages 11–17. We used multivariable logistic regression to assess correlates of looking for second opinions on HPV vaccination. For those who looked for second opinions, the survey assessed their HPV vaccine information needs and whether their child ultimately received the vaccine. Overall, 15% of parents reported looking for second opinions. Parents were more likely to look for second opinions if their self-reported knowledge about HPV vaccine was the same (Odds ratio [OR] = 1.94; 95% confidence interval [CI]:1.13, 3.30) or more (OR = 3.97; 95% CI:2.35, 6.73) than their child's provider, or if they reported seeing HPV vaccine information on social media (OR = 2.50; 95% CI:1.69, 3.69). Parents were also more likely to look for second opinions if they were male, reported low vaccine confidence, disagreed with social norms favoring HPV vaccination, or had a young child (all p < .05). Among parents who looked for second opinions, 32% wanted the most information about safety and side effects, and 40% decided not to get their child vaccinated or were still undecided. In conclusion, a considerable number of parents look for second opinions to obtain information about HPV vaccine yet many still decline vaccination. Evidence-based messaging addressing parents’ HPV vaccine information needs may avoid delayed vaccine initiation in search of second opinions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101550
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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