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HPV vaccine completion rate among girls is poor, getting worse
Date:5/4/2012

GALVESTON, Texas April 30, 2012 The proportion of insured girls and young women completing the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine among those who initiated the series has dropped significantly as much as 63 percent since the vaccine was approved in 2006, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston.

The study, published in the current issue of Cancer, reveals the steepest decline in vaccine completion among girls and young women aged nine to 18 the age group that derives the greatest benefit from the vaccine, which should be administered in three doses over six months.

"The first generation of women that could benefit from the only HPV-related cancer vaccine in existence is missing the opportunity," said lead author Abbey B. Berenson, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women's Health (CIRWH) at UTMB. "This vaccine prevents one of the most devastating cancers in women."

Researchers examined a large health insurance company's records of 271,976 female patients aged nine and older who received the first dose of the HPV vaccine between 2006 and 2009. Of this full sample, just 38.2 percent received all three doses within 365 days. In all but one age group (27 and older), researchers uncovered a marked drop in the number of females who completed the vaccine series:

HPV Vaccine Completion Rates

Age 2006 2009 Completion Dec/Inc
9-12 57.5% 21.2% - 63%
13-18 54.9% 20.8% - 62%
19-26 44.3% 22.6% - 49%
27+ 15% 24.5% + 37%
Source: UTMB

Berenson said that among the 9-12 and 13-18 age groups, the drop may be at least partly attributable to parents not being accustomed to taking older children to the doctor more than once or twice each year and rarely making appointments for this age group solely around vaccines. The slight completion increase among patients 27 and older may be because these women are responsible for their own health care
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Contact: Molly Dannenmaier
mjdannen@utmb.edu
409-772-8790
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Source:Eurekalert

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