HealthDay News — Despite increases since 2008, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates are suboptimal within ages 9 to 12 years, according to a study published online May 3 in Pediatrics.

Onyema Greg Chido-Amajuoyi, MBBS, MPH, from the University of Texas and Maryland Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues derived data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen spanning 2008 to 2018 to examine trends in HPV up-to-date (UTD) rates within ages 9 to 12 years.

The researchers identified an increase in HPV vaccination between the ages of 9 and 12 over the years, amid evidence of recent stagnation. There was an increase in initiation rates from 17.3% in 2008 to 62.8% in 2018; from 2011 to 2018, HPV UTD rates increased from 13.5 to 32.8%. Between 2011 and 2018, HPV-UTD rates increased by 31.9% among boys and by 6.6% among girls after the inception of gender-neutral HPV vaccination. Compared with non-Hispanic Whites, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic individuals had higher rates of initiation and HPV-UTD for most of the study period. Vaccination initiation rates exceeded 70% in several states in 2018; however, HPV-UTD rates were below 50% in most states, excluding Rhode Island, Colorado, Hawaii, District of Columbia, and Ohio (61.6, 58.7, 53.5, 53.2, and 50%, respectively).

“It is important to investigate the underlying factors responsible for the disparities and stagnating rates of HPV vaccination observed in this study,” the authors write.

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