In the News
Girls with health insurance aren't completing the three doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine needed for full protection. Among girls nine to 18 years of age, only 21% completed the series in 2009, compared with 56% in 2006. A similar drop in the completion rate occurred in women ages 19 to 26 years. Yet among women older than 26, the completion rate increased from 15% in 2006 to 25% in 2009. Girls who received the first HPV dose from a pediatrician or gynecologist were more likely to complete the series than those vaccinated at a hospital or clinic or by a family care provider or nurse. Primary care providers “need to stress the importance of completing the series and follow up with their patients,” write Hirth and colleagues in Cancer, published online April 27. Calling or texting patients or parents may improve HPV completion rates.