Update on barriers to human papillomavirus vaccination and effective strategies to promote vaccine acceptance

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Purpose of review

This article provides a clinically relevant review and analysis of the latest research regarding barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and strategic efforts to promote this vaccine.

Recent findings

HPV vaccines are safe, effective, and could prevent the majority of HPV-attributable cancers, if vaccination coverage is high. However, uptake of HPV vaccine lags behind other vaccines recommended for 11 to 12-year olds. A lack of provider recommendation has consistently been found to be a key barrier to increasing vaccination rates. Lack of knowledge about the vaccine among parents coupled with an overestimation of parental vaccine hesitancy among providers also hinder vaccine uptake. Strongly recommending the vaccine as a safe, routine immunization that prevents cancer, and coadministering it with tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccine and quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine, enhance vaccine uptake. In some cases, reminder and recall systems result in additional increases in vaccination rates.


Recent publications reveal new information about the implementation of HPV vaccines. Provider recommendation is a key approach, as is offering it routinely at the same time as other universally recommended adolescent immunizations. With the integration of these concepts into the clinical setting, adolescents can be better protected against HPV and its associated diseases.

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