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Parental HPV Vaccine Hesitancy Increased During 2012 to 2018

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2021 -- From 2012 to 2018, there was an increase in the proportion of unvaccinated adolescents who received a recommendation for human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, but parental HPV vaccine hesitancy also increased, according to a research brief published online Feb. 9 in Pediatrics.

Kalyani Sonawane, Ph.D., from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and colleagues analyzed the 2012 to 2018 National Immunization Survey-Teen to examine coverage and vaccination behaviors. Adult caregivers most knowledgeable about their adolescent's vaccination status answered questions regarding seven adolescent vaccines.

The researchers found that from 2012 to 2018, there was an increase in the proportion of unvaccinated adolescents who were recommended the HPV vaccine by their provider, from 27.0 to 49.3 percent. Among these adolescents, there was an increase in parental lack of intent to initiate the HPV vaccine series, from 50.4 to 64.0 percent. The increase in lack of intent was seen for parents of boys (44.4 to 59.2 percent) and girls (54.1 to 68.1 percent). The difference in predicted probability (dPP) for parental lack of intent to vaccinate despite a provider recommendation was 13.6 percent comparing 2018 with 2012; these findings were consistent for boys and girls (dPP, 13.9 and 14.5 percent, respectively).

"Our findings imply that recommendations alone will not lead to substantial improvements in vaccine uptake," the authors write. "Providers should proactively use tools such as motivational interviewing and presumptive announcements when they encounter hesitancy."

One author disclosed financial ties to Merck.

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