Ram Raju, president of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, announced in a news release Jan. 8 that vaccination coverage for HPV among adolescent patients at HHC surpasses the national average for both boys and girls, with male adolescents at HHC being more than three times more likely to receive the full vaccine than their peers nationally.
HHC is committed to making the HPV vaccine available to its patients regardless of ability to pay, immigration status, or any other potential barrier, Raju said in the release. The prevention of life-threatening disease through a safe and highly effective vaccine helps HHC better manage population health in New York City and is an extremely efficient use of healthcare resources. But most importantly, it saves lives. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers can potentially avoid cancer through this vaccination.
According to the CDC, genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and is a frequent cause of genital warts and other conditions including cancer of the cervix, throat, vulva, vagina, penis and anus. There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females, as well as the mouth and throat. The CDC estimates about 79 million Americans are infected with HPV and about 14 million people become newly infected each year.
Among patients who made at least one pediatric visit to HHC in 2013, 50.1% of females ages 13-17 had received the full three-dose vaccine against HPV; for male patients ages 13-17, 44.5% had received the full vaccine. Those figures increased in the first three quarters of 2014, when 52.4% of females and 52.5% of males ages 13-17 who visited HHC completed the vaccine, the release said.
In 2013, according to New York Citys Citywide Immunization Registry, HPV vaccine coverage for adolescents exceeded the national average, with 42% of females and 27% of males ages 13-17 having received all three parts of the vaccine.
Nationally in 2013, only 37.6% of females and 13.9% of males ages 13-17 had received the full vaccine, according to the CDC.