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How Can HPV Vaccination Rates be Improved?

Statement of Problem

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is most commonly known to cause genital warts, but may also lead to cervical cancer, a significant cause of mortality in women. Despite clinical trials showing the HPV vaccine is safe and effective, vaccination rates remain low among adolescent girls (35 percent fully vaccinated, compared to 70-80 percent for other common adolescent vaccines). Parents report delaying HPV vaccination due to concerns about safety and fears that vaccination may lead to an earlier onset of sexual activity. Additionally, clinician beliefs and practice styles and adolescents’ infrequent health care visits may limit receipt of the HPV vaccine, especially since all three doses are required for full protection. We need innovative interventions to overcome these obstacles to vaccine receipt.

Through our research, we aim to inform programs and policy changes that ensure these adolescents can receive care to meet their unique needs and, ultimately, transition to healthy, productive adults. For example, we’re investigating how using electronic health records may promote efficient workflows and provide automated support to families and clinicians during health decision-making.  


How can HPV vaccination rates be improved?


Only 35% of adolescent girls are fully vaccinated against HPV, compared to 70-80% for other common adolescent vaccines.

Next Steps

To increase HPV vaccination rates, it is most effective to engage both the family and the clinician. These results demonstrate how health information technology can be utilized to engage both clinicians and families in order to improve health and health care outcomes. PolicyLab has disseminated these findings both locally and nationally, seeking to assist other healthcare providers in boosting their use of the HPV vaccine.

This project page was last updated in July 2019.

Suggested Citation

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PolicyLab. How Can HPV Vaccine Rates be Improved? [Online] Available at: [Accessed: plug in date accessed here]. 

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