Gender of the Clinician, Child, and Guardian and the Association With Receipt of Routine Adolescent Vaccines

In the Journal of Adolescent Health, Laura Johnson Faherty and colleagues, including Benjamin French and Alexander Fiks, investigate the relationship of the gender of the clinician, child and guardian to the child’s receipt of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine compared to tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal dose 1 (MCV4) vaccines. Faherty and colleagues used electronic health record data from visits by adolescents to 27 primary care practices from 2009 to 2014 and stratified visits by type (preventive/acute). Adolescents were more likely to be vaccinated at acute visits. The rates of HPV vaccination were twofold higher for girls than for boys at both preventive visits and acute visits. Gender of the guardian was not significantly associated with adolescent vaccination. The researchers find that female clinicians delivered all three vaccines at higher rates than male clinicians at acute but not preventive visits. Studying differences between female and male clinicians’ practice styles, rather differences between particular vaccines, may be more effective in improving vaccine delivery to adolescents.