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HPV Vaccine Is Strikingly Underused — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 26, 2013

HPV Vaccine Is Strikingly Underused

By Cara Adler

Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) coverage among adolescent girls increased every year from 2007 to 2011, but remained unchanged between 2011 and 2012 (at about 33% for all 3 doses and 54% for at least 1 dose), according to an analysis of National Immunization Survey-Teen data in MMWR.

The survey shows that 84% of unvaccinated girls in 2012 had a healthcare encounter where they received another vaccine. The authors project that if HPV vaccine were administered during these "missed opportunities," coverage with at least one dose could approach 93%, and they recommend that providers "use every opportunity to offer HPV vaccines." Strategies for increasing coverage include vaccination prompts in electronic health records and scheduling appointments for the second and third doses when the first dose is given.

The authors' analysis of national vaccine safety data, also included in the MMWR article, identified "no serious safety concerns."

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