Opportunities to increase rates of human papillomavirus vaccination in the New South Wales school program through enhanced catch-upChristine Staples A D , Michelle Butler A , Jennifer Nguyen B , David N. Durrheim A C , Patrick Cashman A C and Julia M. L. Brotherton B
A Hunter New England Local Health District, Booth Building, Longworth Avenue, Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia.
B National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Register, Victorian Cytology Service, PO Box 310, East Melbourne, Vic. 8002, Australia.
C Newcastle University and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, Locked Bag 10, Wallsend, NSW 2287, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
Sexual Health 13(6) 536-539 https://doi.org/10.1071/SH15132
Submitted: 25 January 2015 Accepted: 4 July 2016 Published: 29 August 2016
Background: The National Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Program provides HPV vaccine to high school students through school-based vaccination. We aimed to: 1) assess the vaccine completion rates achieved when general practice is used for completing doses missed at school; 2) estimate the extent of under-notification by general practices of vaccine doses administered; and 3) assess the reasons reported by parents of students for non-completion of HPV vaccination. Methods: A postal survey was conducted of parents and carers of students and identified, using school-program records, as incompletely vaccinated in a large regional area of northern NSW vaccinated during 2010. Information about additional HPV vaccine doses received or reasons for non-completion were sought. Responses were analysed and records cross-checked against the National HPV Vaccination Program Register. Results: Of 660 parents or carers contacted, 207 (31.4%) responded. We found: 1) completion rates increased, an additional 122/207 (45.2%) students had completed all three doses of HPV through their general practitioner (GP); 2) under-notification of GP doses to the National HPV Vaccination Program Register was an issue with only 5/165 (3.0%) reported; 3) the main reason for non-completion was being unaware of the opportunity to catch-up at a GP. Conclusions: Underreporting by GPs of HPV vaccine doses administered and failure to complete courses identifies two opportunities to increase HPV vaccine coverage. These could be addressed by extending provision of catch-up HPV doses in school and by developing practice software solutions for automatic notification of doses from GPs. Reasons given by parents for non-completion, mostly logistical barriers, indicate a high degree of acceptance of HPV vaccination.
Additional keywords: Australia, HPV, immunisation.
References Dey A, Knox S, McIntyre P. Evaluation of the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Final Report. Available online at: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/87C904B208B22554CA257E38001A5FBB/$File/Evaluation%20of%20the%20National%20Human%20Papillomavirus%20Vaccination%20Program.pdf [verified 31 March 2016].
 HealthStats NSW. Immunisation in adolescent students. 2015. Available online at: http://www.healthstats.nsw.gov.au/Indicator/com_immustud_cat [verified June 2015].
 National HPV Vaccination Program Register. Coverage data. Available online at: http://www.hpvregister.org.au/research/coverage-data [verified 21 March 2016].
 Watson M, Lynch J, D’Onise K, Brotherton J. Barriers to better three-dose coverage with HPV vaccination in school-based programs. Aust N Z J Public Health 2014; 38 91–2.
| Barriers to better three-dose coverage with HPV vaccination in school-based programs.CrossRef | 24494957PubMed |
 Brotherton J, Murray S, Hall M, Andrewartha L, Banks C, Meijer D, Pitcher H, Scully M, Molchanoff L. Human papillomavirus vaccine coverage among female Australian adolescents: success of the school-based approach. Med J Aust 2013; 199 614–7.
| Human papillomavirus vaccine coverage among female Australian adolescents: success of the school-based approach.CrossRef |
 World Health Organization Meeting of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization. April 2014 – conclusions and recommendations. Wkly Epidemiol Rec 2014; 89 221–36.
| 24864348PubMed |
 Brotherton J, Chappell G, Brosi J, Bicknell L, Winch K, Barbaro B, Saville M. Human papillomavirus control: how are we going with vaccination coverage 7 years in? Poster number 21. Communicable Disease Control Conference; June 1–2 2015; Brisbane, QLD, Australia. 2015. Available online at: http://www.hpvregister.org.au/site/DefaultSite/filesystem/documents/Coverage-Data/2015/hpv%20conference%20poster_2015%20-%20final.pdf [verified 26 July 2016].
 Laemmie-Ruff I, Barbaro B, Brotherton J. Human papillomavirus vaccine national catch-up program insights into under-notification. Aust Fam Physician 2013; 42 880–4.
 Australian Government. Budget paper no. 2: health. Canberra: Australian Government; 2015. Available online at: http://www.budget.gov.au/2015-16/content/bp2/html/bp2_expense-14.htm [verified 25 May 2015].