More HPV Legislation May Not Result in Greater HPV Vaccine Uptake

The presence of legislation that encourages HPV vaccine uptake does not correlate with increased vaccination among young men or women, according to new research to be presented at APHA’s 142nd annual meeting.

According to the findings, between 2010 and 2012, on average 27 percent of adolescents initiated the HPV vaccine and 37 percent received a recommendation for the vaccine from their primary care provider in states with no history of HPV legislation. Congruently, states with passed legislation or legislation being actively reviewed or voted on saw a similar average initiation and percentage of residents with a recommendation from their primary care provider. Legislation reviewed included that which requires the vaccine, allocates funds or an insurance coverage requirement for the vaccine or educates the public or provides awareness campaigns about the vaccine.

While the presence of legislation showed no statistically significant difference in vaccine initiation and completion on a whole, legislation’s influence did appear to show differences when intention to vaccinate was observed by gender. In states with active or passed legislation, approximately 40 percent of female adolescents intended to receive the vaccination while states with no legislation saw only 35 percent of intention to vaccinate. Similarly, states with passed or active legislation found approximately 32 percent of intention to vaccinate among adolescent males and just 27 percent intention of male vaccinate in states with no legislation. The values indicate that the male and female proportional differences between those in states with and without HPV legislation were greatest when intention to vaccinate was observed, compared to observations of vaccine completion or initiation.

“Nationally, although HPV vaccination initiation coverage is increasing, overall vaccine completion rates are at suboptimal levels and below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020 initiative target of 80 percent. Thus, many states are turning to legislative interventions in efforts to increase initiation and completion rates,” says Raquel Qualls-Hampton, PhD, MS, principal investigator of the study.

Researchers used National Immunization Survey data from 2010 to 2012 and analyzed the initiation of the HPV vaccine among adolescent boys and girls, following the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation. The recommendation was made for females aged 9 to 26 in 2007 and for males aged 9 to 21 in 2009.

The HPV vaccination data was compared against legislation activities captured from each state using the National Conference on State Legislatures. Bills were categorized as active, passive, passed or none based on current reported bill activity at the state level. Researchers analyzed overall vaccine initiation, completion and intention patterns and gender differences in initiation and primary care physician recommendations.

Source: American Public Health Association (APHA)