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HPV vaccine trends point to failures in patient education, vaccine programs
Date:3/14/2013

Completion rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series across both genders continue to remain alarmingly low nearly seven years after its introduction, suggesting that better patient education and increased public vaccine financing programs are needed, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB).

The researchers report "startling" trends in a series of three separate studies published in Cancer, Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine.

Using data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey, an annual cross-sectional survey tracking more than 27,000 adults in the US., researchers found:

  • More than three-quarters of nearly 2,000 women ages 18-26 did not receive the HPV vaccine; another 10% were incompletely vaccinated (three doses required); and two-thirds said they did not want the vaccine, an attitude the researchers attribute to inadequate knowledge, lack of physician recommendation or negative beliefs about vaccines.

  • Just two percent of nearly 3,000 males ages 9-17 initiated the vaccine and fewer than half of those (0.5%) completed the three-dose series during 2010, the first full year when the vaccine was formally recommended for boys.

Analyzing private insurance claims from 2006-2009:

  • Of 514 privately insured males ages 9-26 who initiated the HPV vaccine series, only 21% completed the series on an off-label basis within the recommended 12 months, and rates decreased over the period a surprising result, the researchers said, as they surmised that the patient and/or their parents were motivated to obtain the vaccine before the FDA approved it for male use.

"This is the first generation with the opportunity to be vaccinated against the devastating cancers associated with HPV, but the majority are missing the opportunity," said lead author Dr. Abbey Berenson, professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecolo
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Contact: Lauren Whisenant
lauren.whisenant@gabbe.com
832-723-2236
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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