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CHAPTER 4: Inform and Educate Providers


The teenage years are a time of rapid development and growth. During this time, one of the main pillars of preventive care for adolescents is vaccination. Each visit to a provider office is an opportunity to vaccinate against a variety of diseases. To ensure that adolescent patients receive proper care, providers need to have the correct information about adolescent vaccinations both within their practice and in the general population.

According to physicians, 78% of teens have received the vaccinations recommended for this point in life. 1 However, adolescent vaccination rates are not at an optimal level, and in some cases, are far below Healthy People 2020 immunization goals.2

A challenge to increasing adolescent vaccination rates is obtaining a strong recommendation from the health care provider. For example, in a recent study on provider perspectives, only ~60% of pediatricians and family physicians strongly recommended the HPV vaccine for 11- through 12-year old girls.3 Another study found that a major reason teenagers didn’t receive a Tdap vaccination was the lack of a health care provider recommendation. 3

Educating providers on the need for a strong recommendation, and the best way to provide a recommendation, is critical to increasing adolescent vaccination rates. Additionally, helping providers understand how to approach vaccine-hesitant parents of adolescents, and how to have potentially difficult conversations about teenage behaviors in relation to the HPV vaccine, can help increase adolescent vaccination rates.

Immunization programs play an important role in helping providers stay up to speed on vaccines needed for adolescent patients, by conducting quality improvement exercises like AFIX and highlighting teens in the provider practice who may not be fully vaccinated. The following activities serve as examples of ways to inform and educate providers:

The activities highlighted here related to engaging stakeholders are:

  • Getting Started: Establishing a Statewide Immunization Conference (Kentucky)
  • Moving Forward: “We Are the Key to Cancer Prevention” HPV Vaccination Campaign (West Virginia)
  • Taking It to the Next Level: “Just Another Shot: Reframing the HPV Vaccine” Videos for Providers (Minnesota)

Immunization Program Highlights

Kentucky: Establishing a Statewide Immunization Conference

The Kentucky Immunization Program initiated a statewide immunization conference, including sessions on adolescent immunization and expanding the reach of provider education efforts.

West Virginia: “We Are the Key to Cancer Prevention” HPV Vaccination Campaign

The West Virginia Immunization Program conducted an HPV vaccination campaign to encourage providers to address cancer prevention with HPV vaccination.

Minnesota: “Just Another Shot: Reframing the HPV Vaccine” Videos for Providers

The Minnesota Immunization Program created a video for health care providers on vaccinating adolescents with HPV vaccine.

Adolescent Guide: Chapter 4 Resources

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Many organizations provide tips, tools, and education for providers to improve adolescent immunization rates:
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
How Immunization Programs Inform and Educate Prov PDF (696.63 KB)  more ] Administration 7/12/2018
E-Learning Course: “You Are the Key to HPV Cancer  Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
E-Learning Course: “There Never Was an Age of Reas Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
Evidence-based tools for HPV vaccine quality impro Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
“Practical Approaches to Optimize Adolescent Immun Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
“The Need to Optimize Adolescent Immunization” (in Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
AAFP Foundation “At a Glance” Teen Vaccination Fac Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
“Pursuit of the Three C’s—Confident, Concise, and  Link  more ] Administration 7/10/2018
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