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Researchers find disparities in HPV vaccine recommendation :

September 26, 2016

A teen’s age, gender, ethnicity and home state all factor into their likelihood of receiving a doctor’s recommendation to receive HPV vaccine, researchers found.

The Academy and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend HPV vaccine as part of routine immunization for males and females at age 11 or 12 years, although it can be started as early as 9 years.

However, just 60% of teen girls and 41.7% of boys had started the three-dose series at the time of the study. The CDC recently updated those figures to 63% and 50%, respectively.

Provider recommendation, authors said, plays a key role in whether an adolescent will be vaccinated. Aiming to determine where disparities exist in receiving such recommendations, they analyzed data on 34,478 adolescents from the National Immunization Survey-Teen 2014.

The team found about 72.6% of girls and 51.8% of boys received a vaccine recommendation. Girls were more likely to receive one if they were older, living above the poverty line or residing in the Northeast or Midwest vs. the South.

Boys had higher odds of receiving an HPV vaccine recommendation if they were black or Hispanic, or living in the Northeast or West vs. the South.

For both sexes, having a college educated mother or frequent doctor visits in the last year were tied to higher odds of receiving a vaccine recommendation.

Authors said providers need to be aware that HPV can cause serious health issues for both girls and boys and that the vaccine is more effective at young ages regardless of whether teens are sexually active at that time.

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