According to the Journal of Infectious Diseases, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are "suboptimally used" throughout the United States. Approximately 16% of U.S. adolescents are fully vaccinated by the time they turn 13 years old, and only 35% have received the recommended HPV vaccinations before turning 15.
These statistics are startling, especially since the U.S. sees approximately 34,000 cases of HPV-induced cancers annually. Fortunately, providers have an opportunity to encourage more parents to vaccinate their children.
Listen to our pediatric experts discuss how to overcome HPV vaccination hesitancy
In today's podcast episode, we talk with guests Brian Gablehouse, MD, and Sean O'Leary, MD, about HPV vaccination hesitancy, recent updates to the HPV vaccination schedule and how to utilize motivational interviewing techniques when talking with parents.
Dr. Gablehouse is a pediatrician at Peak Pediatrics located in Wheat Ridge and Thornton, Colorado. Dr. O'Leary works on the Infectious Disease team at Children's Hospital Colorado, and is Director of the Colorado Pediatric Practice-Based Research Network, also known as COCONet (Colorado Children's Outcomes Network).
In this episode, we discuss:
- Why pediatricians should be concerned about low HPV immunization rates in adolescents
- The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices vaccine schedule recommendation for HPV
- The baseline level of knowledge most parents have regarding the HPV vaccine
- How to approach the discussion with families about the HPV vaccine
- Techniques providers can use to talk to families when they have hesitancy about giving their children the HPV vaccine
- How to dispel the myths of HPV (and how to avoid accidentally repeating them to families)
- Why HPV is something that all adolescents need to be protected from
- Why it's so important to foster a sense of immediacy for early HPV vaccination
- Why presenting the HPV vaccine as a "cancer" vaccine can help remove the stigma
- The importance of considering the family-provider relationship during the HPV conversation
- The troubling disconnect between vaccine rates and the total burden of cancer