Researchers found that there is an HPV vaccination rates lag due to the fact that health care providers forget to recommend vaccination to patients.
The study conducted by the University of Alabama and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital found that vaccination rates are lower for childhood cancer survivor regardless the fact that vaccine significantly lowers the risks of HPV-associated cancers.
Researchers found that recommendation from health care providers is the most effective way to encourage vaccination. The study proved that over 50% of survivors who got reminded of vaccination were vaccinated, compared to 5% of survivors who weren’t reminded.
Researchers find it concerning that survivors don’t get vaccinated and without a recommendation, there is only 1-in-20 chance that they will receive a vaccine.
Infection with strains of HPV can lead to cancer of vagina, cervix, tongue, anus, penis and other body parts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 90% of Americans will be infected with HPV at some point in their life. Of course, most will clear the infection by themselves and won’t suffer severe consequences.
Routine HPV vaccination is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices as a way to prevent HPV and its consequences. And still, only 13.5% of cancer survivors got vaccinated against HPV.
Researchers say new strategies should be developed to ensure health care providers inform every patient about the importance of vaccination. Since their recommendation is the key factor, it’s essential to make sure that survivors receive the vaccine.
Of course, some patients skipped vaccination even though they got recommendations from their health care providers but most people who were encouraged to get the vaccine actually got it. Researchers also found that male providers are less likely to be vaccinated due to vaccine cost, parental disagreements and other barriers.
The study shows that there should be clear communication between health care providers, parents and survivors to help overcome some obstacles. For example, even though vaccine costs and lack of insurance prevent vaccination, the vaccine is available through health departments, college health services, primary care clinics and other places for free regardless of insurance coverage. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the HPV vaccine, you should talk to your health care provider.