Clinicians: Strengthening Your HPV Vaccine Recommendation Can Save Lives
Your words are our most powerful tool to prevent thousands of HPV cancers each year in America. That’s because an effective recommendation by a trusted clinician is the best predictor of HPV vaccination. Your recommendation is simple, inexpensive, and powerful – and the best way to improve HPV vaccination rates, which remain far too low across our country. Despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine, only half of adolescent boys and girls completed the vaccination series in 2017.
As the most trusted source of health information, you can be the reason your patient is protected from the painful and lasting effects of HPV cancers and precancers later in life. HPV infections are so common that nearly everyone becomes infected by at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives — and every year, thousands of American men and women are diagnosed with cancer caused by an HPV infection. There are no recommended screening tests for five of the six types of HPV cancer, meaning these cancers may not be found until they cause life-threatening disease. By improving HPV vaccination rates, we could prevent more than 30,000 HPV cancers in the United States each year.
Watch how practicing clinicians make effective recommendations for the HPV vaccine in CDC’s #HowIRecommend video series. In this video, Dr. Todd Wolynn talks about how he makes a clear, concise, and strong recommendation.
What is an effective recommendation? Research demonstrates that using a presumptive approach—one that assumes that parents will choose to vaccinate—is associated with higher vaccine acceptance. In practice, it looks something like this: “Now that your son is 11, he is due for three vaccines that will help protect him from meningitis, HPV cancers, and whooping cough. Do you have any questions?”
Improving HPV vaccination rates is a team effort. Everybody in your office should know how to effectively recommend the HPV vaccine and address parents’ top questions.
HPV vaccination saves lives. It is the best way to protect our nation’s youth from cancers caused by HPV. But that future is only possible if we work together. There are a number of resources to support you in improving HPV vaccination rates within your practice:
- Short videos of clinicians addressing how they recommend HPV vaccine and answer parents’ questions
- Tips on 5 ways to boost HPV vaccination rates in your practice
- Guides for health systems, practices, clinicians and clinical staff on the role they can play in improving HPV vaccination rates
- Consumer-friendly HPV information to share with your patients and their parents
Please join us in increasing HPV vaccination rates: make an effective recommendation for HPV vaccination to every eligible patient every day.
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