Global Dispatch (02.23.2014)
The Global Dispatch reported that a 2012 CDC survey indicated “relatively low” uptake of human papillomavirus (HPV) immunization among US children.
A CDC and University of Massachusetts Medical School analysis of data from the 2010 National Immunization Survey for Teens revealed that 80 percent of people who delayed the vaccine before they were interviewed, either started the series or intended to start the series. The study analyzed responses from parents of 4,103 girls ages 13–17 to identify factors cited for delay or refusal. Parents cited concerns about effectiveness or necessity, fear of long-term health problems associated with the vaccine, and belief that teens did not need the vaccine and were not sexually active.
A majority of parents (69 percent) neither delayed nor refused the vaccine. Eleven percent of parents delayed vaccination, 17 percent refused, and 3 percent delayed and refused vaccination. Of the girls whose parents delayed the vaccine, 83 percent of girls started or intended to initiate the vaccine series within 12 months. Christina Dorell, MD, MPH, associate medical director in the Office of Clinical Affairs at the Center for Health Policy and Research, emphasized that pediatricians should initiate the conversation about HPV immunization with parents and continue to recommend the vaccine.
The full report, “Delay and Refusal of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine for Girls, National Immunization Survey–Teen, 2010,” was published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics (2014; doi: 10.1177/0009922813520070).
Researchers from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center also published a study that examined whether having HPV immunization led to initiation of sexual activity or increased high-risk sexual behaviors. According to lead author Jessica Kahn, MD, HPV vaccination did not lead to “riskier sexual behaviors.”
The full report, “Risk Perceptions and Subsequent Sexual Behaviors After HPV Vaccination in Adolescents,” was published in the journal Pediatrics (2014; doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2822).