More Teens Get Needed Vaccines In Blue States
(Reuters Health) - Parental politics may influence whether teens get recommended vaccinations, according to a U.S. study. Dividing states into red and blue based on how they voted in the 2012 presidential elections, researchers found that in that year, adolescents in blue states were significantly more likely to have received three important vaccines recommended for 11 to 12 year olds. “These associations are important because they demonstrate that there are broader forces associated with political affiliation that may influence acceptance of immunizations for adolescent children,” said senior author Linda M. Niccolai of the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven. “The decision to immunize a child does not occur in vacuum and is not as straightforward as simply accepting a preventive medical intervention or not.” Current recommendations include human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, tetanus-diphtheria-acellar pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal conjugate (MCV4) for boys and girls aged 11 to 12. The researchers used the 2012 National Immunization Survey-Teen to estimate how many teens in each state got at least one dose of these vaccines. The HPV vaccine, which was recommended for girls in 2006 and boys in 2011, protects against cancers caused by HPV infection, which affects about one in four Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boys and girls get all three shots of the HPV vaccine series. The Tdap vaccine booster helps pr...
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