Crozet Family Medicine joined the VVFC program in 2003. During this year’s site visit, adolescent coverage rates were assessed for 59 clients. Crozet Family Medicine’s completion rate for three doses of HPV vaccine for girls aged 13-17 years was 64%. Based on National Immunization Survey (NIS)-Teen data, the HPV national completion rate for three doses of HPV in 2013 was 37.6%.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer, which is the fourth most common cancer in women, with an estimated 266,000 deaths and 528,000 new cases in 2012.
The 2013 NIS-Teen asked parents who reported they were not likely to vaccinate their teen in the 12 months after interviews, or were unsure of their vaccination plans, to identify the main reason why their teen would remain unvaccinated. The top five responses from the parents of girls and parents of boys were the same, differing only in order of frequency. More than 30% of the parents of girls and boys cited as their main reason lack of knowledge or belief that the vaccine was not needed or necessary. Among parents of boys, 22.8% reported that the main reason was that HPV vaccination had not been recommended; among parents of girls, 13.0% reported that HPV had not been recommended.
The practitioners at Crozet Family Medicine attribute their success with HPV vaccine series completion to the education they provide during Well Child Checks. “We always hand out the VIS sheets for parents to review before they make their decision on getting the immunization for their child. Also, once the decision is made to immunize, we give them a card to put in their wallet with the dates as to when they are due to have the next two shots. We also encourage all parents to schedule nurse visits for the upcoming shots. That way they get a reminder call and a letter if they miss their future appointment,” says Ms. Garrison, LPN.
Nationally, progress with HPV vaccination is occurring, but at a slow pace but strong physician recommendations like those provided at Crozet Family Medicine will ensure that more young men and women are protected from HPV associated cancer.
Immunization Champions are nominated by VVFC staff.