We investigated dynamic patterns and predictors of HPV vaccination initiation in Flanders (Belgium) by girls aged 12 to 18, between 2007 and 2009, the period immediately after the introduction of the HPV vaccines on the Belgian market. During this period the initiative for vaccination was taken by the girl, her family or the general practitioner / pediatrician / gynecologist.
We used a Cox regression model with time constant and time varying predictors to model hazard rates of HPV vaccination initiation. The sample existed of 117,151 female members of the National Alliance of Christian Mutualities, the largest sickness fund in Flanders.
The study showed that the hazard of HPV vaccination initiation was higher (1) for older girls, (2) for girls with a more favorable socio-economic background, (3) under more generous reimbursement regimes (with this effect being more pronounced for girls with weak socioeconomic backgrounds), (4) for girls that were informed personally about the reimbursement rules.
When the initiative for HPV vaccination lies with the girls, their families or the gynecologists / pediatricians (no organized setting) the uptake of the vaccine is affected by both individual and organizational factors.
Comment from SANE Vax: When the initiative for HPV vaccinations lies within the girls/families/physicians etc – there is still a chance for informed choice/consent without pressure from pharma and other government pharma-funded agencies.