Many doctors do not recommend HPV vaccine

Aug. 11, 2009 at 11:01 AM

CINCINNATI, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Half of Texas physicians do not follow recommendations to advise vaccination of girls for human papillomavirus, a researcher said.

Dr. Jessica Kahn of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center said the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended in 2006 the human papillomavirus vaccination for all 11- and 12-year-old girls.

A mandate for universal vaccination from the Texas governor's office was made, but it was followed by a swift rebuke by the state legislature.

Kahn and colleagues surveyed 1,122 physicians and 48.5 percent of the doctors said they always recommend the HPV vaccine to girls, 68.4 percent said they were likely to recommend the vaccine to boys and 41.7 percent agreed with mandated vaccination.

"Most physicians are aware of the vaccine and what it prevents, but they may lack knowledge about issues of safety and how to address parental concerns. That may be making them reluctant to deliver the vaccine," Kahn said in a statement.

Nationally, vaccine rates for 11- to 12-year-old girls are from 6 percent to 25 percent, Kahn said.

The survey was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

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