Gender-based reasons for avoiding HPV vaccination

April 3, 2018

An analysis of data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-TEEN) 2015 shows that parental concerns about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination are gender-specific.

An analysis of data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen (NIS-TEEN) 2015 shows that parental concerns about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination are gender-specific. Parents of girls are more likely to not vaccinate because of lack of sexual activity whereas parents of boys are less concerned about that or vaccine safety.

Presented at the 49th Annual SGO Annual Meeting, the findings from Poster 318 are by researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine and the National Cancer Institute. NIS-Teen provides national, regional, state, and selected local area estimates of vaccination coverage for vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Using provider-verified data from NIS-Teen, the authors calculated survey-weighted prevalence estimates of HPV vaccination initiation among boys and girls aged 13 to 17. They also calculated prevalence estimates for parent-reported reasons for lack of initiation and used survey-weighted X2 tests to compare reasons for lack of vaccination between parents of adolescent boys and girls.

In 2015, 63% of girls and 50% of boys had initiated HPV vaccination. For both genders, lack of necessity was the most common reasons for lack of vaccination (21% girls, 22% boys). For 13% of girls and 14% of boys, lack of knowledge about the vaccine was the most common reason for forgoing the shots (13% and 14%, respectively).

Parents of girls were more likely than parents of boys to cite lack of sexual activity as the reason their children were not vaccinated (15% vs 9%, P < 0.01). Parents of boys were significantly more likely than parents of girls to cite lack of a recommendation for vaccination from a provider as the reason they did not vaccinate their child (19% vs. 10%, P < 0.001). They also were less likely to be concerned about safety and side effects (9% vs 14%, P < 0.01).