Introduction: Vaccine hesitancy has historically played a large role in
the low rate of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage in the
United States and has further surfaced to the forefront of public
discourse since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study aims to
determine how HPV vaccination attitudes and trends among primary care
physicians and patients have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Design: Physicians and patients (aged 9-45) participated in a voluntary
survey regarding HPV vaccination. In patients under 18 years of age, the
survey was completed by the patient’s parent or guardian. Results: Of
the 27 healthcare providers surveyed, 22.2% agreed that there has been
an increase in misinformation about the HPV vaccine since the COVID-19
pandemic and 7.4% of providers believed that patients were less willing
to discuss or receive the HPV vaccine. A majority of patients surveyed
(87.7%) were aware of the HPV vaccine but only about a third of those
patients had received all three doses of the vaccine (28.1%).
Conclusion: Recent trends in receiving the HPV vaccine may be associated
with the polarizing climate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding
how trends in vaccine hesitancy have changed since the pandemic will
allow further and more targeted efforts to increase HPV vaccine uptake.