HPV Coverage

Last week, there was discussion on the SOAPM list about HPV coverage rates and the factors that affect it.  There is some consensus that the importance of this vaccine is more difficult to communicate to parents as many of them (illogically) relate it to sexual activity and don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box with their 9yo.

I accidentally ended the conversation when I supported Dr. Diasio’s position that there is a broad range of physician effectiveness when “selling” this vaccine (anti-vaxxers, zip it).  I know many of you endeavor tirelessly to work this vaccine into the routine schedule, but it just lacks the same dramatic punch as pertussis or polio.  And that difference shows up in the results.

I’m extracting this data from an HPV coverage benchmark for our clients.

Percentage of Active Patients 13-17 Years Old with 3 HPV Vaccines
Total Coverage – 29%
Female Coverage – 34%
Male Coverage – 24%

Yes, slightly fewer than 3 in 10 children between the ages of 13 and 17 have completed their HPV series.  The italics represent my editorial position.  That’s just the average, though – what does the distribution look like among PCC practices?

HPV Coverage

As you can see, the majority of PCC clients are between 20-40% coverage, but there’s a long tail at 50% or higher.  >15% of pediatric offices have an HPV coverage rate that is double the national average.  That’s significant.  Perhaps I’ll invite some of them here to share their secrets.

2 replies
  1. Carey
    Carey says:

    We hover around 80% compliance (boys and girls) – I’m told our rate is the highest in our region. I stress how amazing this vaccine is in preventing cancer. Really, what other vaccines do this? I start vaccinating them at 10 years of age and we work hard to get them in for yearly well checks. Some complete the schedule within 6 months. Many will only receive the vaccine at well checks. It helps that I can tell them my daughter got the vaccine at 10 years of age. There are holdouts and some of our patients don’t vaccinate at all.

    • Chip Hart
      Chip Hart says:

      Glad to hear you are performing so well – this vaccine is a tricky sell in some crowds, but it sounds like you’re taking the right approach. I always assume that every pediatrician talks about his or her own kids when facing vaccine hesitant parents, but one never knows. It’s interesting that you do so well even though your practice apparently allows vaccine refusers!


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