• Kyodo

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Only 4 percent of about 200 school nurses think it’s appropriate to inoculate girls against cervical cancer at school, an Okayama University survey showed Thursday, apparently mirroring the teachers’ concerns about their ability to deal with possible side effects.

Mikiya Nakatsuka, a professor at the university and a member of the survey team, said, “I suppose many nursing teachers feel uneasy about providing explanations (about the disease or group vaccination) to parents or coping with side effects.”

Nakatsuka said it is important to ease the burden on schools by having doctors or other health care workers undertake such explanations.

The survey also showed that 45.1 percent of 127 health care professionals who responded think group vaccinations are appropriate, but that 47.6 percent were concerned about side effects, while as many as 85.4 percent of the 200 nurses responding had such concerns.

It is often thought desirable for women in their early teens to receive vaccination against cervical cancer as sexual intercourse is one of the main risk factors for the disease.

The vaccine became available in Japan last December.

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