HealthDay News — Pediatricians and family physicians (FPs) do not always strongly recommend the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a study published online Jan. 4 in Pediatrics.
Mandy A. Allison, MD, MSPH, from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, and colleagues conducted a national survey among pediatricians (364 responders) and FPs (218 responders). The authors described self-reported practices regarding HPV vaccine recommendations, estimated the frequency of parental deferral of vaccination, and examined characteristics associated with not discussing vaccination.
The researchers found that 60% of pediatricians and 59% of FPs strongly recommended HPV vaccine for 11- to 12-year-old girls, while 52 and 41%, respectively, strongly recommended the vaccine for boys. More than half of the respondents reported that ≥25% of parents deferred vaccination. HPV vaccination was frequently/always discussed by 84% of pediatricians and 75% of FPs at the 11-12-year well visit. Those who occasionally/rarely discussed vaccination were more likely to be FPs, male, disagree that parents will accept the HPV vaccines if discussed with other vaccines, report that 25 to 49 or 50% or more of parents defer, and express concern about waning immunity, compared with those who frequently/always discussed vaccination.
“Addressing physicians’ perceptions about parental acceptance of HPV vaccine, the possible advantages of discussing HPV vaccination with other recommended vaccines, and concerns about waning immunity could lead to increased vaccination rates,” the authors write.