Top 10 Tips for HPV Vaccination Success: Attain and Maintain High HPV Vaccination Rates
1. Appreciate the significance of achieving high HPV vaccination rates.
- By boosting HPV vaccination rates among your patients, you will be preventing cancer.
2. Acknowledge the importance your recommendation has when it comes to parents choosing to get their children vaccinated.
- Clinician recommendation is the number one reason parents decide to vaccinate. This is especially important for HPV vaccination.
3. Use an effective approach by bundling your vaccine recommendation.
- Recommend the HPV vaccine the same day and the same way you recommend all other vaccines. For example, “Now that Danny is 11, he is due for vaccinations to help protect against meningitis, HPV cancers, and whooping cough. We’ll give those shots during today’s visit. Do you have any questions about these vaccines?”
4. Motivate your team and encourage their immunization conversations with parents.
- Starting with your front office, ensure each team member is aware of HPV vaccine’s importance and is educated on proper vaccination practices and recommendations, ready to answer parents’ questions, and/or regularly remind and recall parents. Be sure staff regularly check immunization records, place calls to remind families about getting vaccines, and let you know if parents have additional questions.
5. Implement systems to ensure you never miss an opportunity to vaccinate.
- Establish a policy to vaccinate at every visit. Create a system to check immunization status ahead of all visits. Before seeing the patient, staff should indicate if the patient is due for immunization, with special consideration to HPV vaccination. Use standing orders.
6. Use your local health department’s resources.
- Use the resources of the local health department to achieve your goals of protecting your patients.
7. Know your rates of vaccination and refusal.
- Deputize your staff to assist you with knowing your actual vaccination rates and learning more about why some patients are behind on their vaccines. They can also help you facilitate solutions on how to bring these patients in and get or keep immunization rates up.
8. Maintain strong doctor-patient relationships to help with challenging immunization conversations.
- It is extremely gratifying when parents who initially questioned immunization agree to get their child vaccinated on time. It’s always nice to hear: “Okay, that makes sense and I trust you!”
9. Learn how to answer some of parents’ most common questions about HPV vaccine.
- Be prepared to answer parents’ questions succinctly, accurately, and empathetically by using terms that they understand. A parent will often accept your explanations if presented with their children’s best interests in mind.
10. Use personal examples of how you choose to vaccinate children in your family.
- Providing personal examples shows you believe in the importance of immunizations, especially HPV vaccine. These examples—combined with an effective recommendation—can help parents better understand the benefits of HPV vaccination for cancer prevention.
Adapted with Permission from: Khatib, B. (2015) The 10 Immunization Success Factors: Practical Strategies for Providers. Unpublished manuscript.