Teen vaccine survey finds lagging HPV coverage

Aug 25, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – An annual survey found that increases in human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) vaccination in US adolescents are lagging those of two other vaccines—the tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine and the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY)—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

The CDC's 2010 National Immunization Survey found that since 2009 Tdap coverage has grown by 13 percentage points, to 69%, and MenACWY coverage has grown 9 percentage points, to 63%, according to a report today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). However, the percentage of girls receiving one of three HPV doses grew by only 4 percentage points, to 49%, while the number getting all three doses increased by 5 percentage points, to 32%, the report said.

Dr. Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH, deputy director for the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters at a news briefing today that the findings are bad news for the nation's girls, because they suggest that too few are getting a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer in later life. She urged healthcare providers to make a stronger case for the vaccine to parents.

Wharton said that the coverage trends look good for the Tdap and MenACWY vaccines, though there is room for improvement, especially because pertussis (whooping cough) remains a threat in many communities.

The survey also included state data for the vaccines, which showed a wide variation that the CDC said could reflect different vaccine-promotion practices and public health infrastructure statuses.

States with the highest vaccine coverage included Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Washington. Coverage for the three vaccines was significantly lower in adolescents living in the southeastern states compared with the rest of the country.

See also:

Aug 25 MMWR report

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