FRIDAY, Nov. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Although progress has been made in increasing human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, coverage is still too low to achieve full cancer prevention potential, according to a report from the President’s Cancer Panel published Nov. 1.

Barbara K. Rimer, Dr.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues describe progress in HPV vaccine uptake since the previous report, published in 2012 to 2013.

The authors note there has been substantial progress in HPV vaccine uptake, with an average increase of 5 percentage points each year from 2013 to 2017 in the proportion of adolescents who started the HPV vaccine series. However, coverage is still too low to achieve the full cancer prevention potential of vaccination. Less than half (49 percent) of U.S. adolescents were fully vaccinated as of 2017, which was well below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent of 13- to 15-year-olds. In many low- and middle-income countries, HPV vaccines are not included in the national vaccine program. To increase HPV vaccine uptake, four goals are recommended: reduce missed clinical opportunities to recommend and administer the vaccine; increase parents’ acceptance of vaccination; maximize access to HPV vaccination; and promote global uptake of the HPV vaccine.

“The fact remains, that this vaccine remains seriously underutilized — we are still missing opportunities to prevent cancer and save lives,” Rimer said in a statement.

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