Abstract From September 2008, older adolescent girls in the UK are eligible to have the HPV vaccine as part of the HPV vaccination ‘catch-up’ programme. Six months before they were due to be offered the vaccine 16–18 year old girls ( N = 617) from eight further education/sixth-form colleges reported their intentions to have the HPV vaccine and reasons for this decision. Most intended to have the vaccine (around 70%). Some intentions were influenced by perceptions of risk. Many participants wanted more information and a small minority were scared of needles. Some ‘non-intenders’ were opposed to vaccinations altogether. The HPV vaccine is likely to be popular but non-intenders’ views may be difficult to change.