In the United States (U.S.), only five states or territories require human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination for school attendance, even though almost all U.S. jurisdictions have debated adopting this type of policy. In this U.S. based study, we sought to estimate the level of support for HPV vaccine school-entry requirements with varying exemption policies and documentation procedures to obtain exemptions. Between July and August 2019, we conducted a web-based survey with a national sample of 1,109 U.S. parents of 11- to 17-year-olds. The survey assessed support for four school-entry vaccine requirement policies: without exemption or with exemption for medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Analyses used multivariable logistic regression to assess correlates of support for each policy. Overall, 38% of parents agreed with laws requiring HPV vaccination for school attendance without exemptions. When including exemption provisions, agreement increased to 45% for philosophical reasons, 50% for religious reasons, and 59% for medical reasons. Parents more often agreed on requirements without any exemptions if they were female (OR = 1.37, 95% CI:1.01–1.87), their child had initiated HPV vaccination (OR = 2.05, 95% CI:1.50–2.87), reported high levels of vaccine confidence (OR = 2.41, 95% CI:1.77–3.27), or reported having values similar to those of the people in their community (OR = 1.85, 95% CI:1.39–2.47). Parents more often agreed with requirements that included religious or philosophical exemptions if they reported having values similar to their community or high levels of psychological reactance (all p <.05). Many parents also supported requiring a written notice signed by a health care provider (40%) or religious leader (49%) to obtain a medical or religious exemption, respectively. In conclusion, exemption policies greatly increase parent support of school-entry requirements for HPV vaccination but may decrease their impact in practice. A large number of U.S. parents support strict documentation to obtain exemptions, signaling a promising area of policymaking to strengthen vaccine policies for school attendance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7426-7432
Number of pages7
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 5 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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