Recommend HPV vaccine with other routine shots in teens

July 31, 2014

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is cancer prevention and the healthcare industry needs to do a better job of providing the HPV vaccine to all adolescents, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination is cancer prevention and the healthcare industry needs to do a better job of providing the HPV vaccine to all adolescents, according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the survey, from 2012 to 2013, there were modest increases in vaccination coverage among US adolescents between aged 13 and 17 years for all vaccines routinely recommended for preteens and teens. However, vaccination coverage estimates for HPV vaccination remained low in 2013. Among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years, 86% have received at least 1 dose of Tdap vaccine, 77.8% have received at least 1 dose of meningococcal conjugate vaccine, 57.3% of girls and 34.6% of boys have received at least 1 dose of HPV vaccine.

“We also found that many preteens and teens are not getting HPV vaccine when they receive other recommend vaccines,” said Shannon Stokley, MPH, associate director for science, Immunization Services Division, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

According to Stokley, 91.3% of 13-year-old girls would have received the first dose of HPV vaccine if they had received the HPV vaccine at the same time they received other recommend vaccines. Instead, coverage for girls who received the first dose of HPV vaccine by their 13th birthday was just 46.8%.

“Collaborative efforts remain critical to promoting vaccination so that our nation's adolescents are protected against vaccine-preventable disease, including cancers caused by HPV.” Stokley said.  “Decision-makers should work with their clinicians to use every healthcare visit as an opportunity to review adolescents' immunization histories and ensure every adolescent is fully vaccinated with Tdap, meningococcal conjugate vaccine, and HPV vaccine. Clinicians should provide a strong recommendation for  the HPV vaccine the same way and the same day they recommend and administer meningococcal and Tdap vaccines.” 

Data for this report came from the 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen).  The NIS-Teen is a random-digit-dialed telephone survey of parents and guardians of teens aged 13 to 17 years; in 2013, it included data for more than 18,000 adolescents. The telephone survey was followed by collection of vaccination records from clinicians.

“We conduct the NIS-Teen each year to assess vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years,” Stokley said. “The NIS-Teen provides a ‘report card’ to let us know how well we are doing in protecting our nation's teens against vaccine-preventable diseases.”