Call to Action:

May 2021

The United States faces a significant vaccination gap for school-age children, especially adolescents, due to the pandemic. Public childhood vaccine doses are down over 11 million doses for non-influenza doses as of late February 2021.  NCQA posted a recent blog to draw national attention to the brewing crisis.

We are calling upon health plans to take swift and decisive action to bring in school-age children now to catch up on missed vaccinations and provide newly due vaccines.

MAY 12th UPDATE: The ACIP voted to allow for 12-15 year olds to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Clinical guidelines are also changing, allowing for co-administration of other preteen vaccines, including HPV! CDC is pending publication of an updated FAQ and MMWR.  We will update materials with this guidance as soon as possible.

To support your work, we’ve created new resources focused on adolescent catch up vaccination:

Infographic Issue Brief: PENDING UPDATE POST ACIP.  This infographic provides a top-line summary of the current vaccination gap for school-age children with an emphasis on adolescent catch up by May 2021.

Social media shareables: This flyer links to six separate social media shareables to drive catch up vaccination in Spring 2021.

Letter templates: PENDING UPDATE POST ACIP. Two letter templates to use with parents and plans/providers/systems.  Language is provided to adapt for your own audiences.

Messaging Content: PENDING UPDATE POST ACIP MEETING. This communications resource provides language for your organization’s social media and newsletter channels. Social messages address themes of protection, safety, a safe return to school and access when insurance status changes.

Parent Playlist: a suite of videos messaging to parents of adolescents why it’s important to vaccinate their child now.  Two new videos address safety and the need to come in during Spring 2021.

Heathy People 2030 HPV Related Measures: an interactive infographic that calls out three key measures for preventive health visits, reduction of HPV infections, and increasing HPV vaccination.

Promising Practices for Adolescent Immunization During COVID-19: a summary of conversations with health systems and immunizers on adaptations made during the pandemic.

NCQA Webinar Slides: Slide deck from the March 4, 2021 webinar hosted by NCQA featuring the CDC, the American Cancer Society & the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable. The recording of the live event may be accessed from the NCQA website

Why Prioritize Adolescent Vaccination?

The pandemic significantly lowered preteen vaccination rates.

Health plans have the ability to change the trajectory of adolescent population health. 

We understand that HPV vaccination is one piece of the adolescent vaccination platform.  We cannot afford to lose the progress we’ve made to prevent HPV-related cancers.

1. Prevent Cancer

HPV vaccination helps prevent 6 cancers (check out the latest evidence) and properly immunizing your patients is the standard of care.

2. Achieve the triple aim

HPV vaccination delivers on the triple aim: 

  • It improves the patient experience of care
  • It improves the health of populations
  • It reduces the per capita cost of health care

3. Improve population health

Health systems have access to large numbers of patients offering robust opportunity for significant impact on cancer prevention. HPV vaccination protects adolescents from becoming adults with HPV cancers and builds “herd” immunity. Check out this article from AMGA’s Group Practice Journal in October 2019.

4. Improve key performance measures

Payers may encourage improvements to adolescent measures in alignment with Healthy People 2030, HEDIS or the Medicaid core set for children. Your system may have incentive opportunities to explore.

5. Provide Leadership

Without an organizational imperative, providers and/or clinic sites may not know their adolescent vaccination rates or current vaccination guidelines and messaging. The mission needs to come from the top. Our Action Guide for Large Health Systems outlines how leadership can implement the requisite changes using HPV as an example.