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Most states offer HPV vaccinations to girls in juvenile justice system
Date:4/28/2010

to adolescents residing in juvenile justice facilities. Ten of these states only administer the vaccine to juvenile offenders who are incarcerated, but do not make it available to detainees due to their short length of stay.

"Given that approximately 25,000 adolescent girls pass through detention facilities annually, and their increased risk for HPV, vaccinating these teens should be a priority," says Lally, who along with Rich, are also affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and are physicians with University Medicine.

"The health of this high risk population could be significantly improved with health care programs based in the juvenile justice setting."

In most states that offer the HPV vaccine, the state or facility superintendent is authorized to consent for vaccination with the adolescent's agreement. Other states initially seek out or require some form of parental consent in order to administer the vaccine.

Researchers also identified several barriers to HPV vaccine administration. A general lack of education among adolescents about the HPV vaccine and its benefits was most commonly reported, followed by parental consent requirements, a lack of adequate and consistent health care staff to administer the vaccine, adolescents' fear of needles, and cost.

To increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine in the juvenile justice system, the authors recommend all states make the vaccine available to juvenile offenders, offer the vaccine universally to both detained and incarcerated adolescents, and adopt more liberal vaccine consent protocols. They also call for additional educational outreach for adolescents in juvenile justice facilities.

"Young girls in juvenile justice facilities will eventually become part of the general population again," says Henderson. "Any opportunity we have to improve their health will ultimately lead to improvements in the overall health of our communiti
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Contact: Jessica Collins Grimes
jgrimes2@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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