15% of adolescents receive all recommended HPV vaccine doses by age 13

A study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases examined human papillomavirus virus vaccination rates among adolescents.

Researchers studied 2016 data from a nationwide survey of parents conducted yearly by the CDC.

Researchers found that around 43.4 percent of 13 year olds to 17 year olds were fully vaccinated against HPV; however, 15.8 percent of adolescents had been given all recommended doses of the vaccinate by their 13th birthday. Around 34.8 percent of adolescents had received the recommended doses of the HPV vaccine by their 15th birthday.

Receiving the HPV vaccine prior to the 13th birthday has several advantages, including that the immune response to the vaccine is stronger at a younger age.

Additionally, the study shows that adolescents with more than one provider were less likely to be up-to-date on their HPV vaccination by their 13th or 15th birthday than those with one provider.

"Providers need to be aware that, while we have seen gains in HPV vaccination coverage, we are still falling behind at the younger ages," said Robert A. Bednarczyk, PhD, of Atlanta-based Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health and lead author of the study.

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