Uptake of Human Papillomavirus Vaccine is High

April 25, 2008

Uptake of the first two doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine among adolescent schoolgirls in Manchester, United Kingdom, was encouraging, but high coverage for the third dose will determine the overall success of the vaccination program, according to a study published online April 24 in the BMJ.

FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Uptake of the first two doses of the human papillomavirus vaccine among adolescent schoolgirls in Manchester, United Kingdom, was encouraging, but high coverage for the third dose will determine the overall success of the vaccination program, according to a study published online April 24 in the BMJ.

Loretta Brabin of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and colleagues conducted a study of 2,817 schoolgirls aged 12 to 13 years attending 36 secondary schools in the greater Manchester area to ascertain the vaccine's acceptability to parents, measured by the degree of uptake.

The first dose was given to 70.6 percent of girls, while 68.5 percent received the second dose. This is in line with previous studies that predicted an uptake of 70 percent to 80 percent based on parental attitudes toward the vaccine. There was a significantly lower uptake in schools with a higher proportion of girls from ethnic minorities. Parents cited lack of information about the vaccine and concerns about safety over the long term as reasons for refusing vaccination for their daughters.

"Maintaining the vaccine schedule was challenging as 16.3 percent (dose 1) and 23.6 percent (dose 2) of girls missed their vaccination day and had to be offered alternative appointments," the authors write. " Success of the vaccination programme depends on high coverage for the third dose."

The study received funding from GlaxoSmithKline. Authors of the study and a related editorial report financial relationships to the pharmaceutical industry.

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