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Friday, July 25, 2014

Cancer Preventing Vaccine (HPV) Underutilized by Adolescents

Healthcare professionals should eliminate missed opportunities by giving a strong recommendation for HPV vaccine during the same visit they recommend Tdap and meningococcal vaccines for preteens (ages 11-12 years); bundling the recommendations for all of the adolescent vaccines—thus giving HPV vaccine recommendation the same weight and importance as the others—helps parents make the decision to get HPV vaccine for their children.
With only a modest increase in coverage, HPV vaccination rates among adolescents remained low for another year. The vaccine is safe, effective, and prevents cancer, but it continues to be underutilized and missed opportunities are common. Had HPV vaccine been administered during health care visits when another vaccine was administered, vaccination coverage for ≥1 dose could have reached 91.3 percent by age 13 years for adolescent girls born in 2000.  Only 64.4 percent of parents of girls and 41.6 percent of parents of boys reported receiving a recommendation.  
More parents of teens who received the HPV vaccine reported getting a vaccine recommendation, confirming findings from other research that a recommendation from a healthcare professional is extremely influential in determining whether or not parents get HPV vaccine for their preteen.

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