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Teen Vaccinations Up But HPV Coverage Remains Low Overall

CDC experts call for improved clinician, parent adherence to recommendations

Teen Vaccinations Up But HPV Coverage Remains Low Overall

MONDAY, July 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- From 2012 to 2013, coverage for adolescents aged 13 to 17 years increased for all routinely recommended vaccinations. Increases ranged from 1.4 percentage points for at least one tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) dose to 13.8 percentage points for at least one human papillomavirus (HPV) dose in males. These findings were published in the July 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Laurie D. Elam-Evans, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed data from 18,264 adolescents in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands participating in the 2013 National Immunization Survey-Teen. Parents or guardians of eligible adolescents were interviewed over the telephone to obtain information about demographic characteristics and to request vaccination provider contact information. With parent/guardian consent, vaccination providers were contacted to obtain provider-confirmed immunization information.

The researchers found that coverage trends differed substantially for Tdap, meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY), and HPV vaccination. From 2012 to 2013, coverage for adolescents increased for all routine vaccinations. For Tdap, for the third survey year, the Healthy People 2020 national vaccination coverage target for adolescents aged 13 to 15 years was reached (87.5 percent), while progress continues for MenACWY (78.1 percent) and varicella (80.7 percent). However, in 2013, coverage for at least three HPV doses among females aged 13 to 15 years was 32.7 percent, a percentage that will make the Healthy People 2020 target of 80 percent more difficult to achieve.

"Improved adherence of clinicians and parents to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation to administer all age-appropriate vaccines during a single visit could substantially increase lagging vaccination coverage levels," the authors write.

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