According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctor recommendations for HPV vaccine should be stronger to raise HPV vaccination rates. The AAP and the October 2019 edition of Pediatrics featured the study "HPV Vaccine Delivery Practices by Primary Care Physicians," which called attention to pediatrician and family physician human papillomavirus vaccine delivery practices, delivery experiences, and attitudes regarding new 2-dose HPV vaccination schedules. 302 pediatricians and 228 family physicians were examined.
The study's outcomes showed room for improvement:
- 65% of pediatricians and 42% of family practitioners used the strongest and most persuasive method of introducing the HPV vaccine to patients and their families. According the AAP, this means they used a "presumptive style of initiating, meaning they say, 'we have three vaccines for today.'"
The study revealed that most physicians recommended the HPV vaccine to patients in the 11-12 years old age range. According to the AAP, "researchers concluded improvements are needed in how the HPV vaccine is being recommended and that communication training materials and apps as well as further development of evidence-based messages for parents may be helpful in improving the way HPV vaccination is introduced to families of teens."
Chapter 3: Vaccine Safety and Risk Communication in Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Essentials for Practice, Second Edition offers strategies for vaccine risk communication:
- Listen carefully and respectfully to parental concerns about vaccine safety
- Explain the risks of getting vaccinated as compared to the risks of remaining unvaccinated
- Parents who are concerned about pain associated with multiple injections may consider pain reduction strategies such as use of sweet-tasting solutions in younger infants or distraction strategies in older children.
- Parents who are concerned about specific vaccines may accept other immunizations.
- Presumptive delivery strategies can be an effective way to improve vaccine acceptance.
- Personalizing vaccine acceptance by sharing your own vaccination history, or that of your own children, may also be effective.
The chapter further highlights that while vaccines are not 100% risk-free, most vaccine side effects are "transient and mild, such as fever and injection-site pain." Furthermore, the chapter explains that "although there are some rare serious adverse effects after vaccination, the risks of these are lower than those seen after natural infection."
American Academy of Pediatrics website: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/Study-Doctor-Recommendations-for-HPV-Vaccine-Should-Be-Stronger-to-Raise-HPV-Vaccination-Rates.aspx
"HPV Vaccine Delivery Practices by Primary Care Physicians" Study: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2019/09/12/peds.2019-1475?sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token
Chapter 3 Vaccine Safety and Risk Communication: Smith MJ. Vaccine Safety and Risk Communication. In: Shah SS, Kemper AR, Ratner AJ. eds. Pediatric Infectious Diseases: Essentials for Practice, 2e New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; . http://accesspediatrics.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2484§ionid=199373337. Accessed September 24, 2019.