Disparities in Adolescent HPV and Tdap Immunization Uptake Across Virginia in 2021
Vaccination against Human Papillomavirus infection (HPV) prevents cancer-causing infections and precancers for those who receive the recommended inoculations. In use since 2006, it is both a safe and effective cancer prevention, however, there are still a substantial number of people who do not receive the vaccine. In Virginia, the school mandate for HPV vaccinations became effective for females in 2008 and gender-neutral in 2021. Yet today, there are statewide disparities in the rates of adolescent inoculations. This study is a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of 7th grade vaccine data at the school level for the 2021 school year. Data from the Virginia Department of Health’s Annual School Self-Reports of Immunization Coverage: Student Immunization Status Report was utilized for 339 individual schools. Summary statistics were calculated to provide a comparison between school level data and published national and state level studies. Overall, in 2021 the HPV vaccination rate in male students was 56.1% while it was 60.2% for female students. For Tdap, the statewide vaccination rate was 91.5%. Comparing schools to the Healthy People 2030’s 80% vaccination goal amongst adolescents, 11.21% of schools’ male HPV inoculation rates met this goal, 15.34% of schools’ female HPV inoculation rates met this goal, and 88.79% of schools’ Tdap inoculation rates met this goal. HPV vaccinations are more frequently opted-out of for students of non-Title I designated schools amongst males and females as HPV vaccinations remain significantly lower than Tdap vaccinations.
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