“Blue state” parents more likely to vaccinate their teens

Parents in the more liberal “blue states” are more likely than parents in conservative “red states” to vaccinate teens against human papillomavirus, or HPV, and other diseases, according to research from the School of Public Health published in the American Journal of Public Health. Comparing data from the 2012 National Immunization Survey-Teen to results of the 2012 presidential election, and factoring in sociodemographic factors, the study found that blue states showed a 10 percent higher HPV vaccination rate for girls, and a nearly 25 percent higher HPV vaccination rate for boys.

“These associations are important because they demonstrate that there are broader forces associated with political affiliation that may influence acceptance of immunizations for adolescent children,” said lead author Linda M. Niccolai, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology (microbial diseases).