Increasing HPV Vaccination Coverage Rates Among Adolescents

Dates: 2013-2016

State: Massachusetts

Client(s): Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH)

Service: Health Care & Public Health Planning

Technical Expertise: Adolescent Health, Immunization

Adolescent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination levels remain lower than other adolescent vaccines in Massachusetts, especially for the 3rd dose for females and for any doses for males. Moreover, Massachusetts’ rate of late stage cervical cancer in black women is increasing. The burden of HPV-associated disease is large; in addition to cervical cancer, HPV can cause anal, oral/pharyngeal, vaginal, vulvar and penile cancers. HPV vaccine is currently considered a high priority nationwide by CDC for vaccination improvements.

This Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) initiative aims to ensure that Massachusetts reaches the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80% of female and male adolescents in the state receiving three doses of HPV vaccine by 13–15 years of age, regardless of race/ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

JSI provided project management and evaluation services to the initiative, supporting DPH to carry out the following activities:

  • Develop a statewide joint initiative with partners in pediatrics, cancer prevention, community health centers, family planning, and sexually transmitted infection prevention.
  • Implement a statewide media campaign targeting parents and using focus-group-tested materials to increase awareness of the importance of HPV vaccine in preventing cancer and to increase demand for HPV vaccine
  • Train, support, and provide technical assistance to providers and health care systems to use the Massachusetts Immunization Information System to generate reports of adolescents due and overdue for routine adolescent vaccines; and assess adolescent vaccination rates for HPV and other routine adolescent vaccines to identify missed opportunities and implement reminder/recall capability
  • Work with partners and health systems to provide information and education to increase provider knowledge about HPV-related diseases and the effectiveness and safety of HPV vaccine; provide information and resources to help providers deliver effective communication for HPV vaccination; and provide technical assistance to enable providers to implement evidence-based strategies