HPV Vaccine

About the HPV Vaccine Resources
Parental Perceptions Education Opportunities
Tips for Providers Updates

About the HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine is a safe, effective tool that prevents more than 90% of cancers caused by HPV. However, since the introduction of the HPV vaccine in 2006, vaccination coverage rates have increased gradually. One dose vaccination rates for adolescent girls increased from 25.1% in 2007 to 54.0% in 2012.

Between 2016 and 2019, one-dose vaccination rates among adolescents ages 13-17 rose to 71.5, an increase of 11.1% from 2016. During that same period, HPV series completion rates increased from 43.4% to 54.2%. In 2019, Texas continued to fall below the national average with a series initiation rate of 65.1% and an HPV series completion rate of 48.4%. Texas ranks 41 out of 50 states and Washington, D.C for HPV vaccine completion rates. Learn more about how Texas HPV vaccination rates compare nationally here.

12.4% of all U.S. adolescents age 13-17 who have not started the HPV vaccine series reside in Texas. This means the largest number of U.S. teens not protected against HPV-associated cancers reside in Texas.

The CDC/ACIP recommends the HPV vaccine for routine vaccination at 11-12 years of age (vaccination can be started at age 9). Find the most recent ACIP recommendations for the HPV vaccine here.

The HPV vaccine is safe, effective, and it is preventing cancer. What’s the problem?

Parental Perceptions
Surveys among parents have shown the following reasons for HPV vaccine hesitancy:

  • They did not feel the HPV vaccine was necessary
  • They did not feel the HPV vaccine was recommended
  • They had concerns about the HPV vaccine’s safety
  • They lacked knowledge about the vaccine or disease
  • Their daughter is not sexually active

Armed with this information and the population-based experience on HPV vaccine benefits, health care providers and public health officials must improve efforts to increase immunization rates. The reasons for the low HPV vaccination rates are many, but there is a clear failure to communicate the benefits of HPV vaccination.

Tips for Providers:
  • HPV vaccine is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for both male and female adolescents, and should be provided along with other routine vaccines. Review the most recent CDC recommendations here.
  • Healthcare professionals should make strong recommendations and vaccinate all patients at 11 or 12 years of age. Missed opportunities data show that if HPV vaccine was given every time a clinician gave a Tdap or MCV4 dose, HPV vaccine coverage would be over 90 percent.
  • If not given at age 11 or 12, the HPV immunization series should be initiated in all teens and up to 26 years of age.
  • Present parents with information on all recommended vaccines for adolescents, including the HPV vaccine, not only vaccines that are required for school entry.
  • Emphasize to parents that HPV vaccine prevents cancerThis message is key!
  • Discuss with parents how common HPV is and that to be most effective, it must be given before the onset of sexual activity – whenever that may be.
  • The HPV vaccine was first approved in 2006. Data shows that the HPV vaccine is both safe and effective. Learn more here.
  • Don’t miss opportunities to vaccinate - vaccinate against HPV at both sick and well-child visits, sports physicals, or any other vaccination visit.
  • Use the “alerts” in your EMR system to remember when vaccines are needed. 
  • Use reminder recall systems to remind patients when a vaccine is due (postcards, phone calls, and text messages).
  • Ask nurses to check vaccine status as they bring the child/parent into the exam room. 
  • Use standing orders specific for HPV vaccination.
  • Use educational resources available from CDC, TDSHS and other reliable sources
  • Remember that your recommendation is the strongest factor for acceptance of vaccines because parents and patients trust their physician’s advice above anyone else’s.

The Texas Pediatric Society's Committee on Infectious Diseases and Immunizations supports CDC recommendations and encourages providers to improve HPV vaccination coverage of Texas adolescents.


Toolkits, Handouts, and Printable Resources

For more information on immunizations and making strong vaccine recommendations, click here

CME Webinars and Self-Study Opportunities

Most courses listed are free to the public, free to members, or offered at minimal cost.
The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. NFID designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.
Indiana University School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™
American Academy of Pediatrics designates this Enduring Material for a maximum of 6.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. 
The AAP designates this PI CME activity for a maximum of 40.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.
CDC offers the #PreteenVaxScene Webinar Series which covers topics related to uptake of recommended vaccinations for preteens and teens. 
American Academy of Pediatrics HPV resources and education opportunities can be found here.

HPV Updates

1/12/2017 - Texas Health and Human Services HPV Strategic Plan Released

The Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission have released their HPV Strategic Plan as required by Senate Bill 200 of the 84th Legislature, 2015. You can read the full report here

12/23/16 - DSHS Vaccine Advisory on Updated CDC Recommendations

The Texas Department of State Health Services has released a vaccine advisory regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) updated recommendations regarding the three injection series of HPV vaccination in adolescents, beginning at age 11-12 years. CDC now routinely recommends two doses of HPV vaccine for 11 or 12 year olds to prevent HPV cancers.

Read the full DSHS advisory here.

Read the Updated ACIP recommendations here