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AACR: Few Women Vaccinated for Cancer-Causing HPV

About a quarter begin the three-shot vaccination series, and less than a third of those complete it

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Few young women who are eligible for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination actually are vaccinated, and many of those who begin the three-dose series don't complete it, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held from Nov. 7 to 10 in Philadelphia.

J. Kathleen Tracy, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed clinical data from the University of Maryland Medical Center on 9,658 females (aged 9 to 26) who came to the center and were deemed eligible for HPV vaccination during 2006 to 2010.

The researchers found that 2,641 of the potentially eligible young women (27.3 percent) started HPV vaccination, with 39.1 percent of those receiving a single dose, 30.1 percent receiving two doses, and 30.78 percent completing the recommended three-dose series. Women aged 18 and older were the least likely to have more than a single vaccine dose, and African-American women were less likely than Caucasian women to complete the series.

"The public health consequence of [these results] is that significant numbers of women remain unprotected or under-protected. Evidence-based interventions are needed to foster both vaccine uptake and adherence for optimal prevention [of] cervical cancer. Interventions that address barriers for minority women and young adult women are needed. Technological innovations such as text messaging may offer an effective method to address these issues," the authors write.

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