Background: The general introduction of HPV vaccination, as the primary prevention of cervical cancer, is the subject of debate in the Netherlands. Methods: We explored intentions towards HPV vaccinations for pre-adolescents in 1367 women; screen invitees, women with abnormal smears, cervical cancer survivors, and a reference group. Results: 76% (screen invitees) to 81% (women with abnormal smears) said 'yes' to vaccinations, often motivated by 'prevention is better than cure'. Multivariate logistic regression showed that younger women were more positive than older women. Intentions were not related to education, job, marital status or having children. Both women who were pro and anti-HPV vaccinations expressed concerns about long-term effectiveness and side effects. Comments such as 'cervical cancer runs in the family' demonstrated confused knowledge. Conclusions: Most respondents had a positive intention towards HPV vaccinations, but intention was lower than actual childhood vaccination uptake in the current National Immunisation Programme (95%). Uncertainties about long-term effectiveness and side effects were the major causes of doubt. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.