Decline in HPV Vaccination Rates Raises Concerns During Pandemic

Decline in HPV Vaccination Rates Raises Concerns During Pandemic

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England has reported a significant decline in vaccination rates for human papillomavirus (HPV), with a decrease of approximately 40 percent over the past few years. This decline is primarily attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals postponed in-person doctor’s appointments and preventive health measures, such as receiving the HPV vaccine.

The HPV vaccine is recommended for children, teens, and young adults between the ages of 9 to 45. Individuals younger than 15 typically receive two doses, while those aged 15 to 45 receive three doses over a period of six months. The vaccine helps prevent HPV-related cancers, such as cervical cancer, as well as cancers in the throat, mouth, head, and neck.

The ideal age for HPV vaccination is before an individual becomes sexually active. However, studies have shown that certain demographic groups, including Latinx populations, immigrants, and individuals without insurance, have lower rates of vaccination.

The decline in HPV vaccination rates can be attributed to various factors. During the pandemic, HPV vaccination recommendations were de-emphasized due to limited in-person visits with healthcare providers. Additionally, the pause on in-person schooling resulted in missed annual physicals, which serve as important checkpoints for keeping adolescents up to date on their vaccines.

Vaccine hesitancy also plays a role in the decline, with some parents expressing concerns and seeking more information about the HPV vaccine. Financial barriers and political ideologies can further contribute to vaccine hesitancy.

To address the decline in HPV vaccination rates, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England has placed a strong emphasis on catching up patients on their preventative healthcare. Efforts are being made to educate individuals about the importance of HPV vaccination and address any concerns or misconceptions they may have.

Rhode Island has been particularly successful in maintaining high HPV vaccination rates in children, thanks to the Department of Health and the state government’s efforts to ensure access to vaccines. However, vaccination rates vary across different jurisdictions, highlighting the need for targeted interventions and tailored public health initiatives to improve overall vaccine uptake.


– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

– Mayo Clinic

– American Journal of Managed Care

Note: This article is purely informative and does not endorse any specific medical treatments or interventions. All individuals should consult with their healthcare providers for personalized medical advice.

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