Medical Daily (07.18.2013)
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Southern California found that more boys received human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine if their mothers regularly visited the doctor for flu vaccines, Pap smears, and other preventive medicine. Although CDC approved the vaccine for girls in 2007 to prevent HPV infection that causes warts and cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women, later studies indicated that it would also prevent penile, anal, and throat cancer in males infected by HPV. In 2009, CDC officially added HPV vaccination of boys and young men to the revised recommendations, but research indicates that the response to male HPV vaccination is slow.
Dr. Rulin Hechter, a vaccine specialist at Kaiser, and colleagues reviewed the electronic medical records of 250,000 boys ages nine to 14 and found a correlation between boys vaccinated between October 2009 and December 2010 and mothers receiving preventative care for diseases other than HPV. The vaccination rate for boys whose mothers had received a flu vaccine during that year was 16 percent higher than that of boys whose mothers did not; the vaccination rate for boys whose mothers had Pap smears was 13 percent higher than for those whose mothers did not; and the rate jumped to 47 percent for boys whose mothers had a history of genital warts.
Hechter noted that findings suggested that mothers’ use of preventive services might have an effect on their sons being vaccinated against HPV.
The full report, “Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Uptake in Adolescent Boys and Maternal Utilization of Preventive Care and History of Sexually Transmitted Infections,” was published online in the American Journal of Public Health (2013; doi 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301495).