SAHM Expresses Concern Over Reduced Vaccination Rates and Disparities in Service Among U.S. Teens

August 25, 2011

Deerfield, IL — In light of today’s report of the National Immunization Survey results, which underscores a relative stagnation in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) encourages increased efforts by clinicians to advocate for targeted vaccination of 11- and 12-year-old male and female patients, while recommending catch-up vaccination for all patients 13-26 years who have not yet received the vaccine.

The report issued by the National Immunization Survey shows reasonable gains in immunization rates among teens for tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal conjugate vaccine. However, rates of HPV vaccination have not shown similar increases: less than 49% of all teen girls have begun the HPV vaccination schedule, while only 32% received all three recommended doses. Of great concern given the relatively higher rates of cervical cancer in minority and low-income women is that the results also reveal racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in HPV vaccine completion rates, despite the fact that the Vaccines for Children Program provides free vaccines for low-income teens.

Read the full release (PDF).

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