Society

Sexual conservatism turns Brazilians against HPV vaccine

conservatism HPV vaccine
Photo: Goodbishop/Shutterstock

The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine reduces one of the most common forms of cancer among women by up to 90 percent. However, despite being administered to the Brazilian population free of charge, uptake has been far below health authorities’ targets. Why? Experts point to two factors that have gone some way toward defining Brazil in 2021: disinformation and conservatism.

Last year, only 55 percent of girls aged between 9 and 14 in Brazil took the HPV vaccine. Coverage targets are established yearly at 90 percent, yet have never gone above 70 percent, dashing Brazil’s hopes of meeting the World Health...

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