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Survey: HPV vaccination rates continue to improve :

September 2, 2021

Nearly 59% of teens are up to date on HPV vaccination, a figure that rises each year but hasn’t caught up to the rate of other vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the results from the 2020 National Immunization Survey-Teen on Thursday in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, providing data on just over 20,000 teenagers.

Researchers found about 75.1% of teens had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine, up from 71.5% in 2020. About 58.6% were up to date on HPV vaccination, up from 54.2%.

“Improvements in HPV vaccination coverage are crucial to lowering rates of HPV-attributable cancers in the United States,” authors wrote.

Females continue to have higher rates of HPV vaccination. About 61.4% of females had completed the series compared to 56% of males. Rates were higher for teens in metropolitan areas than for those outside these areas.

The 2020 coverage rates for other vaccines were:

  • 92.6% for at least three doses of hepatitis B,
  • 92.4% for at least two doses of measles, mumps and rubella,
  • 91.9% for at least two doses of varicella among those with no history of the disease,
  • 90.1% for at least one dose of tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis,
  • 89.3% for at least one dose of meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY),
  • 82.1% for at least two doses of hepatitis A,
  • 54.4% for at least two doses of MenACWY and
  • 28.4% for meningococcal B, which is given based on individual decisions between families and clinicians.

The survey data reflects vaccines teens have received throughout their lifetime, and most are recommended before age 13. Therefore, most of the vaccines were given before the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on vaccination rates.

Authors did note that the percentage of teens initiating the HPV series in March through December was about the same in both 2019 and 2020. Still, other studies have found low rates for other vaccines in the early months of the pandemic. Both the AAP and CDC have been urging families to make sure their children are caught up, especially as they return to school. Routine vaccines can be administered at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines.

“Ensuring that routine vaccination is maintained and that adolescents catch up on any missed doses is essential to protecting persons and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks,” the CDC wrote.

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