Improving HPV vaccine delivery at school-based health centers

Kristin Oliver, Colleen McCorkell, Ilana Pister, Noora Majid, Denise H. Benkel, Jane R. Zucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify characteristics associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates, describe barriers and facilitators to vaccine uptake and the potential role for clinician-to-clinician Assessment, Feedback, Incentives, and eXchange (AFIX) visits in school-based health centers (SBHCs). Methods: We conducted clinician-to-clinician AFIX visits at 24 New York City (NYC) high-school and middle-school SBHCs with up-to-date adolescent vaccination rates below 40%. Using NYC’s immunization information system, we assessed HPV initiation and series completion rates at the time of AFIX visit and follow-up three to five months later. We analyzed responses to a questionnaire and summarized interviews to identify barriers and facilitators to HPV immunization practices and quality improvement (QI) implementation. Results: Baseline initiation and completion rates were 76% and 43% for high schools, and 81% and 45% for middle schools. SBHCs that allowed adolescent self-consent or did not require separate vaccine consent had higher baseline rates, but was not statistically significant. Barriers to series completion included challenges with scheduling and appointment compliance. At follow-up, high school SBHCs increased HPV vaccine initiation by 2.9 percentage points (p < 0.01) and series completion by 2.7 percentage points (p < 0.05). There was no statistically significant increase at middle school SBHCs. Most SBHCs (88%) chose reminder/recall systems as a QI strategy. Fewer than half (42%) implemented their QI strategy. Conclusions: We identified barriers to HPV vaccine series completion at our sample of SBHCs. Clinician-to-clinician AFIX visits may help improve vaccination rates and encourage providers to address barriers, including streamlining consent processes for HPV vaccination. Abbreviations: School-based health (SBH); quality improvement (QI).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1870-1877
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2019


  • Human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV)
  • quality improvement
  • school-based health


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