Some schools in England have decided to opt out of a vaccination programme which protects girls against cervical cancer, on religious grounds.
Vaccination against cervical cancer has been routinely offered to 12 to 13 year old girls in the UK since 2008.
The Gardasil vaccine protects against two strains of human papilloma virus - HPV 16 and 18 - responsible for more than 70 per cent of cases of cervical cancer. It also protects against two other strains of the virus - HPV 6 and 11 - which cause 90 per cent of cases of genital warts.
However, GP magazine found that 24 schools in 83 of the 152 primary care trust areas in England, had opted out of the vaccination programme, many for religious reasons.
It also found that most of the schools which decided against vaccination did not inform local GPs, or tell the girls or their parents how to obtain the vaccine elsewhere.
Reasons given for not participating in the vaccination programme included "pupils follow strict Christian principles, marry within their own community and do not practise sex outside marriage," and the vaccine "not in keeping with the school ethos."
The magazine, which obtained the information through a Freedom of Information request, also said that other schools may decide to opt out of the vaccination programme, as more become academies or free schools, which have greater freedom from local authorities.
Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under the age of 35, according to Cancer Research UK, and around 1,000 women die from the disease every year.
Dr George Kassianos, immunisation spokesman for the Royal College of General Practitioners told GP magazine: "If GPs are going to be provided with vaccines and there is an agreement that GPs can vaccinate those falling behind, then it is even more important that GPs are informed of who has missed HPV vaccination at school. GPs also need to know of completion of vaccination courses."
Dr Richard Vautrey, the deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's general practitioners committee said: "It is a concern that so many areas are reporting that schools have refused to allow their children to receive HPV vaccine on the premises. This is placing the children at risk in later life and should be challenged."