Which Digital Messages Are Most Effective to Increase HPV Vaccination?

HPV vaccination Internet messages should be shorter and written for main street comprehension
testing messages
(Precision Vaccinations)

A new analysis of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine digital messaging showed that most online information was too long and written above a ‘main-street’ reading level. 

This new study is important since the national HPV vaccination adherence is less than what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advocate. 

In 2017, only 49 percent of adolescents received all the recommended HPV doses.   

These researchers found that ‘when a parent receives a healthcare provider’s recommendation, it is one of the strongest predictors of future HPV vaccination'. 

For example, adolescents whose parents receive a high-quality recommendation have 9 times higher odds of initiating HPV vaccination, than those without a recommendation. 

However, 48 percent of parents of age-eligible adolescents report having not received such a provider recommendation. 

This study, published in Vaccine, says healthcare providers have a significant challenge when communicating HPV vaccination with parents. 

These researchers aggregated messages that a provider might use when raising the topic of HPV vaccination, answering common questions, and motivating vaccination. 

They identified 267 unique messages about HPV vaccination, and found:

  • Messages were too long (mean no. of 44 words),
  • Most information required above a 6th grade level of education to comprehend, and
  • Just a few messages used a presumptive style to recommend HPV vaccination.

The most frequent message topics addressed common parent questions or concerns (62%); the most common topics were diseases prevented by HPV vaccine (18%) and safety and side effects (16%). 

Additionally, there were some messages that included information about cancer prevention (26%) and same-day vaccination (13%). 

In conclusion, digital messages about HPV vaccination were markedly varied, and are not enhancing the CDC achieving the HPV vaccination goal. 

HPV vaccines can be found in most pharmacies and physician offices in the USA. 

To easily schedule an HPV vaccination appointment, please visit this page. 

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides HPV vaccine prices for general information.

And vaccine discounts can be found here. 

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.