In the most recent issue of The Journal of School Health, a research team from Philadelphia led by Ms. Preethi Selvan shares results of their study “Exploring Knowledge and Attitudes about Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Among School Nurses in an Urban School District.” The research team surveyed 208 school nurses about the HPV vaccine as well as their interest in providing the vaccine at school and access to HPV vaccine educational material in the school. Most nurses had positive attitudes about the vaccine and recognized the importance of promoting vaccination, but did not have interest in administering the vaccine in school. Researchers consider a lack of HPV vaccine conversations with the school nurse to be a missed opportunity for providing education and support for vaccination, especially considering that many children do not receive annual well-child visits where such conversations may be expected to occur. The full report of this study may be accessed here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/josh.12981
COVID has certainly changed the way we deliver care to our students over the past year. The experience of providing school health services through a pandemic has likely made us rethink all of our clinical priorities: from assessment, to how we deliver such services. Although containing the virus and now promoting vaccination are high on our priority list, we can not forget to encourage student and family participation in preventative care, such as the administration of scheduled vaccines.