HPV vaccination rates higher among boys when mothers receive preventive care, study finds

PASADENA, Calif. — Boys whose mothers receive flu shots or Pap screenings are more likely to receive the human pappilomavirus vaccine, according to a new study.

The study, conducted by Kaiser Permanente and published in the American Journal of Public Health, was based on electronic health records of more than 250,000 boys aged 9 to 17 enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan.

The study found that 4,055 boys, or 1.6% of study participants, received the vaccine between October 2009 and December 2010, and that the vaccination rate was 16% higher in boys whose mothers had received the flu vaccine, and 13% higher in boys whose mother had Pap screenings. Also, boys whose mothers had a history of genital warts were 47% more likely to receive the vaccine, and rates were higher among boys who were Hispanic, lived in low-income and low-education neighborhoods and who were enrolled in Medicaid.

"Our study findings suggest that a mother's receipt of preventive services may have an impact on their son's HPV4 vaccination," lead study author and Kaiser Permanente Southern California research Rulin Hechter said, referring to the four-valent vaccine commonly used. These mothers might be more familiar with preventive measures for HPV infection, influencing their decision to have their children vaccinated.


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