Hirth JM. Cancer. 2012;doi:10.1002/cncr.27598.
Fewer females are completing the HPV vaccine series now than in 2006, when the vaccine was recommended as part of the routine immunization schedule, according to results of a retrospective analysis published recently.
Results of a retrospective cohort study by Jacqueline M. Hirth, PhD, and colleagues from the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, indicate that the percentage of females with health insurance who complete the HPV vaccine series is decreasing over time, especially among younger females. The researchers said physicians must stress to parents and patients the importance of completing the entire series of vaccinations.
The study included 271,976 females who initiated the HPV vaccine series and were still enrolled in their respective insurance plan 1 year later. Females aged 13 to 18 years, 19 to 26 years, and those aged at least 27 years were found to be less likely than those aged 9 to 12 years to complete their HPV vaccine series. The investigators also said females aged 9 to 12 years and 13 to 18 years had lower odds of completing the HPV vaccine series for each subsequent year compared with those aged 19 to 26 years and at least 27 years.
Among females aged 9 to 12 years, the percentage of initiators who completed the vaccination series decreased from 57% in 2006 to 21% in 2009. Among females aged 13 to 18 years, the completion rate decreased from 55% in 2006 to 21% in 2009. The rate also decreased from 44% in 2006 to 23% in 2009 among females aged 19 to 26 years.
In contrast, there was an increase in the rate of completion from 15% in 2006 to 26% in 2007 and 27% in 2008 among females aged at least 27 years. However, the rate declined to 24% in 2009.
Obstetricians/gynecologists were more likely to administer vaccines to completers than pediatricians, compared with clinics, nurses, family care practitioners and specialists, who were less likely to administer initial vaccines to completers compared with pediatricians.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended routine immunization with HPV vaccine for females aged 11 to 12 years, although it can be administered to girls aged 9 years. The ACIP also recommends catch-up vaccinations for females aged 13 to 26 years who have not been vaccinated or have not received the full series, according to the CDC.
Disclosure: Dr. Hirth reports no relevant financial disclosures.