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HPV Vaccination Increasing, But Missed Opportunities Abound — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
July 25, 2014

HPV Vaccination Increasing, But Missed Opportunities Abound

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by William E. Chavey, MD, MS

Rates of vaccination against human papillomavirus increased modestly among adolescents from 2012 to 2013, but missed opportunities for vaccination persisted, according to an MMWR article.

Analyzing data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen, CDC researchers found that the percentage of adolescent girls who received at least one dose of HPV vaccine increased from 54% in 2012 to 57% in 2013. For boys, the proportion increased from 21% to 35%. Missed opportunities for vaccination — defined as any healthcare visit in which an age-appropriate adolescent received at least one vaccine but not the first dose of HPV vaccine — were frequent, identified among nearly 85% of girls. The most common parent-reported reasons for not vaccinating their child included a lack of knowledge about the vaccine and the belief that it was unnecessary.

Overall, HPV vaccination was safe, with most adverse events being described as nonserious.

The authors urge clinicians to educate parents about HPV vaccination and to recommend its use at every opportunity.

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