HPV vaccination numbers lagging behind HHS target

Human papillomavirus virus vaccine uptake among U.S. commercially insured children remains behind target levels set by HHS, a new study shows.

The study, published in Pediatrics, examined data for children included in MarketScan healthcare database from January 2003 to December 2017. Children were followed from the year they turned 9 until they either received the HPV vaccination, were disenrolled from their insurance or reached the end of the year when they turned 17, whichever came first.

The study included 7.8 million children. The proportion of 15-year-old girls who had received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine increased from 38 percent in 2011 to 57 percent in 2017. Among 15-year-old boys, that figure jumped from 5 percent in 2011 to 51 percent in 2017.

The proportion of girls with at least a two-dose HPV vaccination went from 30 percent in 2011 to 46 percent in 2017, and the proportion of boys who had received two doses of the vaccine increased from 2 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2017.

However, these numbers fall short of the Healthy People 2020 goal for two-dose HPV vaccination, which is 80 percent by age 15 for girls and boys. Healthy People 2020 is an HHS initiative.

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