Use of Human Papillomavirus Vaccines Among Young Adult Women in the United States
An Analysis of the 2008 National Health Interview Survey
Published in: Cancer, v. 117, no. 24, Dec. 2011, p. 5560-5568
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2010
BACKGROUND: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends catch-up administration of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to girls and women ages 13 to 26 who have not been vaccinated previously. In response to debate regarding catch-up vaccination of young adult women, this study examined whether 18- to 26-year-old women most likely to benefit from catch-up vaccination were aware of the HPV vaccine, and initiated the vaccine series by the end of 2008. METHODS: We used data from the 2008 National Health Interview Survey to assess HPV vaccine awareness and use, and reasons for not vaccinating, among women aged 18-26 years (n = 1583). Sociodemographic, health care access, and health history factors associated with vaccine initiation were assessed using multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: Overall, 11.7% of women aged 18-26 years reported receiving at least 1 dose of the HPV vaccine by the end of 2008. In multivariate analyses, younger age, history of previous HPV infection, unmarried status, health insurance, flu shot in the past year, and receipt of 1 or more recommended lifetime vaccines were significantly associated with HPV vaccine initiation. Two-fifths (39.6%) of unvaccinated women were interested in receiving the HPV vaccine (n = 1327). Primary reasons for lack of interest in the vaccine were belief that it was not needed, not knowing enough about it, concerns about safety, and not being sexually active. CONCLUSION: HPV vaccine coverage among young adult women was low, and lower among the uninsured than the insured. Public financing and care provision programs have the potential to expand vaccine coverage among uninsured women, who are at increased risk of cervical cancer.