HPV, meningococcal vaccine coverage improves among US adolescents
HPV and meningococcal vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 13 to 17 years in the United States continues to improve, although geographical disparities persist, according to findings published in MMWR.
Researchers found that adolescents at or above the poverty line who lived outside a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) were less likely to have received an HPV or meningococcal vaccine than adolescents living in MSA principal cities.
“Despite progress in adolescent HPV vaccination and meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) coverage, disparities remain. All adolescents are not equally protected against vaccine-preventable diseases,” Laurie D. Elam-Evans, PhD, MPH, a scientist in the CDC’s Immunization Services Division, and colleagues wrote. “As in previous years, compared with adolescents living in MSA principal cities, HPV [up-to-date] status and coverage with one or more doses each of HPV vaccine and MenACWY continue to be lower among adolescents in non-MSA areas.”
Evans and colleagues examined data from the 2019 National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-Teen) to determine vaccination coverage among adolescents. NIS-Teen is an annual national telephone survey that collects sociodemographic and medical information on adolescents by requesting consent from a guardian to obtain an adolescent’s vaccination information.
From 2018 to 2019, coverage with one or more doses of the HPV vaccine increased from 68.1% to 71.5%, whereas the percentage of adolescents who reported being up to date with their HPV vaccination series jumped from 51.1% to 54.2%. The researchers observed a similar increase in coverage of one or more doses of MenACWY between 2018 (86.6%) and 2019 (88.9%). The number of adolescents who received the booster dose of MenACWY was not statistically different between 2018 and 2019.
“Reasons for the MSA disparity among higher socioeconomic status adolescents are less clear but might be an indicator of lower vaccine confidence,” the researchers wrote. “More work is needed to understand the relationship between socioeconomic status and geographic disparities and the barriers that might be contributing to such differences.”