Reasons for and insights about HPV vaccination refusal among ultra‐Orthodox Jewish mothers

Developing World Bioethics 23 (4):300-311 (2023)
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Abstract

BackgroundVaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) is a pivotal tool for preventing a significant cause of cervical cancer. One particular culturally recognized context associated with negative attitudes toward the HPV vaccine is the religiousness of parents. However, relatively speaking, there remains a scarcity of studies that have focused specifically on religious groups, especially non-Christian groups. PurposeTo better understand the basis for members of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community to object to the HPV vaccine and how such objections can and cannot be reduced, thereby improving cultural competence—namely, the cultural understanding and ethical addressing of HPV vaccination refusal. MethodsThis qualitative study conducted semi-structured interviews with ten Israeli ultra-Orthodox mothers who are opposed to administering the HPV vaccine to their daughters. The content analysis addressed these results and extracted the major issues arising from these particular interviews. ResultsFour main novel insights were found pertaining to the negative stance toward HPV vaccination among mothers in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community: (a) lack of knowledge about the HPV vaccine is not part of the reasoning against it; (b) rabbinical authority might have a lesser influence than expected for the moderation of HPV vaccine refusal; (c) complicated viewpoints regarding childhood vaccination may be the larger non-moderating context for HPV vaccination refusal; and (d) cultural competence is important for the ability to change the negative attitudes toward HPV vaccination. ConclusionsThe study may improve cultural competence regarding HPV vaccination and contribute to decreasing objections to the HPV vaccine in ultra-Orthodox communities.

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