Could partnering the human papilloma virus vaccine with other, less controversial vaccines lead to higher compliance and completion rates and, ultimately, a drop in certain cancer rates?
A new study by University of Virginia School of Nursing professors Jessica Keim-Malpass and Emma Mitchell asserts that administering the HPV vaccine alongside other, less controversial scheduled vaccines – like Tdap, tetanus, the MMR and the annual flu vaccine – may help improve completion rates of the controversial vaccine among adolescents ages 9 to 18. Interestingly, the same effect was not seen among young adults age 19 to 25.
The HPV vaccine, which must be given in three doses, has been shadowed with controversy since its 2007 introduction, much focused on the discomfort of vaccinating children as young as age 9 for a virus that’s transmitted sexually.
Since the HPV vaccine’s introduction in 2007, just 38 percent of American adolescent girls and 14 percent of adolescent boys completed the three-dose series. Virginia was the first state to mandate the vaccine for girls – later followed by Washington, D.C. and Rhode Island – but opt-outs remain high. Only 27.9 percent of Virginia’s girls completed all three required doses of the vaccine in 2014, while 12.1 percent of Virginia males received just the first dose.
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