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Expand chart
Data: 2021 Chido-Amajuoyi OG et al. JAMA Pediatrics; Chart: Axios Visuals

More than 25% of parents in 2019 who refused the human papillomavirus vaccine for their child cited concerns of safety or adverse effects, a study in JAMA Pediatrics shows.

Why it matters: This type of refusal greatly increased from 5% in 2008, showing "disinformation campaigns aimed at hampering vaccine trust are thriving," the authors write.

  • HPV vaccinations, which are given in adolescents to protect against the types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer and genital warts, have gradually increased since the mid 2000s. But recently, rates have been "suboptimal," and stagnant, per the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The big picture: The pandemic has exposed the corresponding challenges in assuring public confidence in the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

State of play: Higher rates of safety concerns or adverse effects from 2008 to 2019 were reported especially among non-Hispanic white parents.

  • However, after 2015, the rate of refusal due to concerns of safety or adverse effects increased by 3.5% each year, driven by mothers and mothers with college degrees.

What's next: Misinformation can be combatted if public health resources partner with social media platforms, the report says, adding physicians should be addressing parent hesitancy during appointments.

Go deeper

Parents caught in the middle of K-12 masking debate

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Parents in some parts of the U.S. are increasingly frustrated at their deadlocked school districts when it comes to masking policies and the few options for protecting unvaccinated kids this fall.

The big picture: The Biden administration's recent plea that people wear masks indoors again risks falling on deaf ears in the hardest-hit states, leaving families who are at odds with local policies in a quandary.

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.