HealthDay News — According to a study published in Pediatrics, schools that require routine vaccines as a condition of attendance have higher rates of vaccination, including higher rates of immunization for the human papillomavirus (HPV).
Children at these schools are also more likely to get recommended tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and meningitis vaccines.
Jennifer Moss, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues tracked vaccination rates over 5 years for 100,000 adolescents nationwide.
The researchers found that, compared to states without Tdap and meningococcal vaccine requirements, those with such requirements had 22 and 24% increases, respectively, in coverage for these vaccines. The researchers also found that Tdap booster and meningococcal vaccination requirements were associated with larger “spillover” increases in HPV vaccination coverage.
As of the 2015 school year, 47 states had requirements for Tdap booster, 25 states for the meningococcal vaccine and 3 states for HPV vaccination.
According to the researchers, officials should consider changing school entry requirements to increase HPV vaccination rates. An “indirect” approach — of adopting Tdap booster or meningococcal vaccination requirements — might help, the research team said.
Moss JL, et al. “School Entry Requirements And Coverage Of Non-targeted Adolescent Vaccines”. PEDIATRICS. 2016. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-1414. [Epub ahead of print]