WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The way to increase the number of girls and boys who get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine may be as simple as giving it as part of a routine bundle of vaccines, according to a study published online Oct. 5 in Pediatrics.
Anna-Lisa Farmar, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado in Aurora, and colleagues started a program at Denver Health, which provides health care to a disadvantaged city population and serves more than 17,000 teens annually. The program included bundling of vaccines, offering vaccines at every visit, and standard orders.
Using this approach, HPV vaccination rates for teens aged 13 to 17 rose significantly. In 2013, among 11,463 teens, 89.8 percent of girls and 89.3 percent of boys had at least one dose of the vaccine, compared with a national average of 57.3 percent of girls and 34.6 percent of boys. In addition, rates of the three required doses of the vaccine rose to 66.0 percent of girls and 52.5 percent of boys, compared with a national average of 37.6 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively. Girls, Hispanics, non-English speakers, and teenagers below 200 percent of the federal poverty level were more likely to have received three doses of HPV vaccine.
“Through low-cost, system-wide standard procedures, Denver Health achieved adolescent vaccination rates well above national coverage rates,” the authors write. “Avoiding missed opportunities for vaccination and normalizing the HPV vaccine were key procedures that contributed to high coverage rates.”
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