2-dose schedule helping increase HPV vaccine completion rates, physicians say

Most pediatricians and family physicians report that the new two-dose schedule for the human papillomavirus vaccine has resulted in higher vaccine completion rates, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Researchers conducted a survey among pediatricians and family physicians via the internet or mail from July 2018 to September 2018. They examined HPV vaccine delivery practices, experiences and attitudes regarding the two-dose schedule, which was approved by the CDC in 2016.

They received responses from 302 pediatricians and 228 family physicians.

Survey findings include:

1. Eighty-nine percent of pediatricians and 79 percent of family physicians reported that more adolescents younger than 15 years old are completing the HPV series now that only two doses are recommended.

2. Pediatricians who strongly recommended the HPV vaccine ranged from 99 percent for female patients 15 years or younger to 83 percent for male patients who were 11 to 12 years old.

3. Family physicians who strongly recommended the vaccine ranged from 90 percent for female patients 15 years or younger to 66 percent for 11-to 12-year-old male patients.

4. Sixty-five percent of pediatricians and 42 percent of family physicians always or almost always used "presumptive style" when discussing the HPV vaccine, which means they recommended the vaccine as strongly as they recommend other common vaccines for adolescents, such as the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine.

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