Differences in HPV Immunization Levels Among Young Adults in Various Regions of the United States
OBJECTIVES This study aims to estimate human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage by demographic and sexual behavior characteristics 1-2 years after vaccine licensure in a nationally representative sample of females aged 9-59 years in the United States. METHODS In 2007-2008, a total of 2775 females aged 9-59 years responded to questions on HPV vaccine receipt in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Demographic and sexual characteristics were evaluated for select age categories in bivariate analyses after adjusting for survey design. RESULTS Overall, 15.2% of females aged 11-26 years reported HPV vaccine initiation; vaccine initiation varied significantly by age. We found no significant difference in vaccine initiation by race or poverty level in either 11-18 or 19-26-year olds. Significantly more 19-26-year olds with private insurance initiated vaccine (16.3%) than those with public insurance (4.0%) (p = 0.04). Among females aged 14-18 years, vaccine initiation was higher in those who ever had sex (28.6%) compared to those who had never had sex (17.8%) (p = 0.05). CONCLUSIONS These results describe HPV vaccine initiation shortly after vaccine licensure. Vaccine initiation was highest in females aged 14-18 years. Efforts should be made to increase HPV vaccine coverage for the recommended age groups.