Through our collective efforts we can help routinize using the 16-year-old visit to include recommended and catch-up vaccines. Together, we can help healthcare professionals and the public become more aware of, and motivated to comply with, US vaccine recommendations and, ultimately, help protect older teens against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Now is the time for parents and health professionals to protect the children they care for from HPV cancers. Every year that adolescents aren’t vaccinated is another year they are unprotected from cancer-causing infections…
As an adolescent medicine specialist, I’m faced with the daily challenge of guiding my patients through their adolescent years in a safe, healthy way. Sadly, there is much beyond my control, but the administration of immunizations is a very straight forward way of protecting them from diseases which I know will have a significant impact on their health. A perfect example of a vaccine that is extremely beneficial to patients in my practice is the HPV vaccine.
Waiting or delaying vaccines just doesn’t make sense. There is no reduced risk; leaving them unvaccinated just leaves your baby or child vulnerable to infections.
The US healthcare system is on the verge of an exciting transformation that focuses first on keeping people healthy. We must send a strong signal that increasing immunization rates among adults in the US is indeed a national priority.
Despite availability of safe and effective HPV vaccines, completion of the 3-dose vaccine series remains low and completion rates are much higher in girls (37.6%) than boys (13.9%) although HPV vaccination has been recommended for both boys and girls 11-12 years of age since December, 2011.
While 44 states currently allow pharmacists to administer vaccines recommended by the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and all 50 states allow influenza vaccines to be given, many states place barriers between patients and pharmacists as immunizers, primarily by age and/or prescription restrictions.