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Initiation of HPV Vaccination at 9-10 Years of Age: Does it Increase Completion Before Age 15?

February 27, 2023

While the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices of the CDC recommends routine vaccination against human papilloma virus (HPV) at ages 11-12 years, initiation is permissible as early as 9 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly supports starting the HPV vaccine series at ages 9-10 years. Given the goal of vaccination before a teen is sexually active, has the recommendation for earlier HPV vaccination resulted in earlier and higher rates of completion? Goodman et al (10.1542/peds.2022-058794) address this in a study being early released this month in Pediatrics

The authors analyzed data on 19,575 adolescents ages 15-17 years participating in the National Immunization Survey—Teen in 2017-2020, with immunization data obtained from the participant’s medical.

Overall, 7.8% started vaccination at 9 or 10 years of age, which is not surprising since it was not until 2019 that the AAP recommended this. Those who started early were more likely to complete the series by 13-15 years of age. The authors provide much information on sociodemographic factors associated with earlier vaccination. A limitation is that most teens in this study needed 3 doses at the time they started their vaccinations, and the authors do not have sufficient information whether the 2 dose series now in effect might improve timeliness and likelihood of completing the series.

If you need further convincing about the importance of administering HPV at age 9-10 versus the 11-12 ACIP recommended age, then give this study your best shot and link to it to learn more.

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