(HealthDay News) — Adolescent rates of vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) and influenza are well below the target of 80 percent or higher, according to two American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports published online Feb. 6 in Pediatrics.
The immunization rates vary considerably by vaccine and by state, the pediatricians’ group found.
In 2014, only 40 percent of girls and 22 percent of boys had completed the then-recommended three-dose series of HPV vaccination. A two-dose vaccination schedule is now recommended for youngsters who begin the vaccine series at ages 9 to 14, while the three-dose schedule is still recommended for those who start the series at age 15 or older, and for those with certain immune system disorders. In addition, the researchers found that during the 2015 to 2016 influenza season, only 46.8 percent of teens aged 13 through 17 were vaccinated against influenza.
“We often find that teenagers don’t visit their doctors as regularly as they did when they were younger, and they may be late or even miss important immunizations recommended to keep them healthy,” Joseph Bocchini Jr., M.D., coauthor of the reports and former chair of the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases, said in an academy news release.