Massey researchers review geographic factors that affect HPV vaccination rates

January 22, 2021

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection, with an estimated 79 million Americans currently infected with the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If a high-risk HPV infection does not go away, it can lead to the development of a variety of cancers, including 91% of all cervical cancers, 70% of oropharyngeal cancers and cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis and anus.

HPV vaccination can significantly reduce the number of new cancer diagnoses linked to the virus, in addition to preventing a number of other health complications.

"Given the effect that HPV vaccination has had on cancer prevention, it is important to identify factors influencing HPV vaccination coverage," said Bernard Fuemmeler Ph.D., associate director for population science, the Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., Chair in Cancer Research and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

Fuemmeler and his team conducted the first-ever systematic review of area-level data reported in the United States between 2006 and 2020 to determine how geography, neighborhoods and sociodemographic factors impact HPV vaccination rates among adolescents and young adults. The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

The CDC recommends two doses of the HPV vaccine six to 12 months apart beginning at age 11 or 12 and for everyone through age 26 if not already vaccinated. Despite this federal recommendation from health experts, Fuemmeler's team found that, across these studies, vaccination uptake is not uniform within the population and existing studies suggest that vaccination coverage varies markedly across the U.S and within local regions of the U.S.

"Understanding how HPV vaccination coverage varies by geography can help to identify areas of need for prevention and control efforts," said Fuemmeler, a professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Policy at the VCU School of Medicine.

Many intervention strategies have been implemented to address several of the factors that contribute to low vaccination rates, including education level, health insurance coverage, income and vaccine awareness, but those efforts are often untargeted or limited to certain areas, creating widespread geographical disparities throughout the country. For example, Fuemmeler's research shows that HPV vaccination completion rates vary from nearly 80% in Rhode Island to less than 29% in Mississippi.

Upon completion of their review, Fuemmeler's team proposed five recommendations and future considerations to overcome the current barriers to effectively address and improve national HPV vaccination coverage: 1) foster interdisciplinary collaborations and research to support more detailed analyses of geographic disparities in HPV vaccination coverage; 2) standardize procedures for immunization reporting systems to make information consistent across states; 3) standardize variable definitions in research on HPV vaccination coverage; 4) incorporate spatial regression modeling approaches to identify where HPV-related burdens are elevated and prevention and intervention efforts are needed; and 5) obtain data on HPV prevalence in smaller geographic areas for a more detailed understanding of HPV vaccination coverage nationwide.

"Our findings demonstrate the need to adopt geospatial, standardized and collaborative approaches in future studies that allow for the effective mapping, detection and reporting of geographic areas with low HPV vaccination coverage," Fuemmeler said.
-end-
Fuemmeler's collaborators on this study include Askar Chukmaitov, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.A., and David Wheeler, M.P.H., Ph.D., members of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Massey; Carrie Miller, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the VCU School of Medicine; Elizabeth Do, Ph.D., M.P.H., of Truth Initiative and formerly of the VCU School of Medicine; Brianna Rossi, M.P.H., and Albert Ksinan, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellows at VCU; John Cyrus of VCU Libraries.

Additionally, Massey received $200,000 from the National Cancer Institute in 2020 for a one-year HPV supplement to its Cancer Center Support Grant. Led by Shillpa Naavaal, B.D.S., M.S., M.P.H., member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at Massey and assistant professor in the Department of Dental Public Health and Policy at the VCU School of Dentistry, this supplemental funding will investigate vaccine hesitancy in rural counties of Virginia and the resulting findings will inform and support the growth of infrastructure to increase HPV vaccination uptake within Massey's catchment area. This P30HPV supplement will serve three primary objectives: 1) determine reasons for vaccine hesitancy among parents of middle school-aged children in rural counties; 2) understand HPV vaccination practices and perceived barriers among health care providers and key community stakeholders; and 3) disseminate survey and interview findings and encourage conversation on how to improve HPV vaccination.

Co-investigators on this supplement include Fuemmeler, Chukmaitov and Wheeler; Tegwyn Brickhouse, DDS, Ph.D., of the VCU School of Dentistry; and Janaye Oliver, M.P.H., of the Virginia Department of Health.

Virginia Commonwealth University

Related Hpv Vaccination Articles from Brightsurf:

Massey researchers review geographic factors that affect HPV vaccination rates
A team of researchers from VCU Massey Cancer Center conducted the first-ever systematic review of area-level data reported in the United States between 2006 and 2020 to determine how geography, neighborhoods and sociodemographic factors impact HPV vaccination rates among adolescents and young adults.

Impact of HPV vaccination mandates on social inequalities
A postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside, has discovered Human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccination mandates fall short of ensuring both higher levels of uptake and equal uptake of the vaccine across socioeconomic and racial-ethnic groups.

Vaccination insights
While scientists race to develop and test a vaccine effective against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, recent studies have indicated that countries with widespread BCG vaccination appear to be weathering the pandemic better than their counterparts.

HPV vaccination linked to lower risk of precancerous condition
Vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV) reduces the risk of a condition that often leads to cervical cancer, according to an analysis of Danish health registry data.

American Cancer Society updates guideline for HPV vaccination
The American Cancer Society has updated its guideline for HPV vaccination, adapting a 2019 update from the Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Multilevel interventions improve HPV vaccination rates of series initiation and completion
New research from Boston Medical Center shows that providing education and training to pediatric and family medicine providers about the importance of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, in tandem with healthcare systems changes including starting an HPV vaccination series before the age of 11, improves the overall rate of HPV vaccinations among adolescent patients.

Addressing HPV vaccination concerns
Research from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute finds a promising avenue for addressing vaccine hesitancy around HPV vaccine.

Young men unaware of risks of HPV infection and need for HPV vaccination
Young sexual minority men -- including those who are gay, bisexual, queer or straight-identified men who have sex with men -- do not fully understand their risk for human papillomavirus (HPV) due to a lack of information from health care providers, according to Rutgers researchers.

Religion associated with HPV vaccination rate for college women
A survey of female college students finds 25% had not been vaccinated for HPV and religion may be a contributing factor.

The Lancet: HPV vaccination programmes have substantial impact in reducing HPV infections and precancerous cervical lesions
The new study is the first to show pooled estimates of population-level impact of HPV vaccination on CIN2+ from several countries, the benefit of vaccinating more than one age group, along with substantial herd effects in countries achieving high vaccination coverage.

Read More: Hpv Vaccination News and Hpv Vaccination Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.