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Tips and Tools for Improving HPV Vaccination

Evidence-Based Strategies to Increase HPV Vaccination Levels

  • Recommend HPV vaccine using the presumptive/announcement approach.
    • ​Use a statement rather than a question: “Your child is due for the HPV vaccine today to help protect against cancers caused by HPV. We’ll give that shot at the end of the visit.” A recent study demonstrated the effectiveness of this strategy, and the CDC has found that healthcare provider recommendation is the single best predictor of vaccination. See CDC’s tip sheet on answering common questions from parents.
  • Use the “HPV vaccine is cancer prevention” message, because parents identify cancer prevention as important in their decision to vaccinate their children.
    • “HPV vaccine is important because it prevents cancer. That is why I recommend that your daughter/son be vaccinated today.” Emphasize your belief in the importance of the HPV vaccine.
  • If a parent asks about delaying the series, explain that there are no benefits to waiting until later to get immunized.
    •  “HPV vaccination works best at the recommended ages of 9 to 12 years, plus if your daughter/son starts the series now, she/he only needs two doses instead of three.”
  • Start the HPV vaccine series on time and schedule follow-up appointments for the next dose(s) before the patient leaves the clinic. Use reminders and recalls to inform patients that vaccinations are due or late.
  • Recommend the HPV vaccine series starting at age 9 to give families ample time to finish the series. Providers who start recommending HPV vaccine at ages 9 and 10 have had high success in ensuring kids are fully protected.

Online Webinars and Resources

  • View American Cancer Society’s video on how to use the announcement approach to make a recommendation for HPV vaccination at age 9.

  • View American Cancer Society’s Steps for Increasing HPV Vaccination in Practice, an action guide to implement evidence-based strategies for clinicians.

Free Patient Education Materials

The above materials may be available from your local health department.