Few Adolescent Males Are Getting the HPV Vaccine

Source: Family Practice News

By: Wachter, Kerri


The 2010 North Carolina Child Health Assessment and Monitoring Program surveyed 751 parents of adolescents between the ages of 11 and 17 and found that just 14 percent of adolescent males had received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, versus 44 percent of females. Researchers found correlations between HPV vaccine uptake in males and older age, race, lower household income, and other vaccine use in the family, and a correlation between HPV vaccine uptake in females and older age and public school attendance. During the poster presentation at the annual meeting of the American Society for Preventive Oncology, researchers said parents of males often were unaware that the HPV vaccine was available to boys and had not received a recommendation from their doctor, while parents of girls generally expressed concerns about safety and side effects. “Our findings underscore the importance of healthcare provider recommendation of the HPV vaccine, said Melissa Gilkey, researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead author of the study.