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CDC: Half of U.S. teens were up to date on HPV vaccination in 2018

Biggest gains seen in males

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control show that the rate of 13-17 year olds with 1 dose of the HPV vaccine increased slightly, from 65.5% in 2017 to 68.1% in 2018, and the rate for series completion increased from 48.6% to 51.1%. The biggest increases were seen in males. 

The CDC analyzed data on 18,700 adolescents ages 13-17 from the 2018 National Immunization Survey — Teen. Girls continue to be vaccinated at a higher rate than boys, but boys made a bigger improvement in 2018. About 53.7% of girls were up to date on HPV vaccine last year, up from 53.1% the year before. Among boys, 48.7% were fully vaccinated compared to 44.3% in 2017.

Results of the survey were published August 22 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Review

The data show that HPV vaccination rates for adolescents whose parents reported receiving a provider recommendation were 28 percentage points higher than those who did not. Overall, 77.5% of parents reported receiving a provider recommendation for adolescent HPV vaccination. Prevalence varied by state, ranging from 59.5% in Mississippi to 90.7% in Massachusetts.

Several states saw impressive increases in their HPV vaccination rates in 2018:

  • Kansas (9.9 percentage points for 1st dose)

  • Alabama (9.9 percentage points for series completion)

  • Minnesota (11.9 percentage points for completion)

  • Ohio (11.2 percentage points for completion)

  • Wyoming (11.1 percentage points for completion).

CDC also released a report updating the HPV cancer incidence rates, showing that estimates for HPV cancers continue to rise in the U.S.– now at 34,800 cases per year. 

At ACS, we continue to contribute to the larger national effort to increase HPV vaccination rates and decrease rates of HPV cancers. Preliminary data from the HPV VACs Activity and Impact Report 2018-2019, to be released in the next month, show that our health systems approach is working. We are seeing health system, local, and statewide changes where our partnerships are strong.

Over the last five years, ACS has partnered with more than 700 health systems on HPV vaccine uptake, and we are making gains. Of those 700 systems, cancer control staff worked closely with 100 health systems to implement evidence-based interventions within 635 clinics. These interventions produced an average increase of 14 percentage points in clinics’ HPV vaccine series initiation rates – a tremendous achievement. 

Through our partnerships, more than 15,000 providers have been trained on the importance of the HPV vaccine as cancer prevention, and 45 health plans are now encouraging their networks of providers to vaccinate. 

ACS staff also reach beyond health systems to engage state and local government and professional societies to increase rates in communities across the country. Our staff lead these efforts in nearly 75% of states. 

Lastly, efforts to educate the public on the importance of HPV vaccination have taken off since the launch of Mission: HPV Cancer Free in summer of 2018, both at a grassroots level through community engagement and coordinated national marketing work. 

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