What's behind the low vaccine rate among teens?

More than a third of parents of teens are unaware of when their child's next vaccine is due and one-half of parents incorrectly assume that their doctor would initiate an appointment when the time came, according to a report from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan.

More than a third of parents of teens are unaware of when their child's next vaccine is due and one-half of parents incorrectly assume that their doctor would initiate an appointment when the time came, according to a report from the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan. The findings are based on responses from a nationwide sample of 614 parents with at least one child aged 13–17 years. CDC data show that just a third of teens have received the second dose of meningitis vaccine by aged 17 years, while less than 50% of boys age 13–17 years have completed the HPV vaccine series and less than one-half of adolescents receive an annual flu vaccine. However, the report found that more than 90% of parents polled thought their teen had received all vaccines recommended for their age. "Given the general lack of awareness about adolescent vaccines shown in this poll, there is a clear need for providers to be more proactive for their teen patients," said poll co-director Sarah Clark.