HPV vaccination rates unchanged in teenage girls

ATLANTA — In a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV vaccination rates in teenaged girls remained unchanged in the last two years.

Officials from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics reported on data collected from last year’s National Immuninization Survey-Teen. It was reported in an article in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The data showed that 84 percent of girls 13-years-old through 17-years-old not vaccinated for HPV had a healthcare visit where they received another vaccine, such as one for meningitis or pertussis.

Three-dose coverage also slightly declined from 2011 to 2012.

“Progress increasing HPV vaccination has stalled, risking the health of the next generation.,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden. “Doctors need to step up their efforts by talking to parents about the importance of HPV vaccine just as they do other vaccines and ensure its given at every opportunity.”

The HPV vaccine prevents infection with certain species of a virus that can develop into cervical cancer or genital warts.

The CDC said for each year the three-dose HPV vaccine series coverage remains near the current level of 33 perccent instead of achieving the “healthy people” 2020 goal of 80 percent coverage, 4,400 more women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 1,400 cervical cancer-attributable deaths will occur in the future.

Healthcare providers are urged to give a strong recommendation for HPV vaccination for 11- and 12-year-old boys and girls.

“Parents need reassurance that HPV vaccine is recommended at 11 or 12 because it should be given well in advance of any sexual activity,” Frieden said. “We don’t wait for exposure to occur before we vaccinate with any other routinely recommended vaccine.”