HPV Vaccination Rates Nearly Double in Young Adults: CDC

Megan Brooks

January 07, 2020

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates among young adults in the United States continue to trend upward, nearly doubling, according new data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The percentage of adults aged 18 to 26 years who reported ever having received one or more doses of HPV vaccine increased from 22.1% in 2013 to 39.9% in 2018.

This increase continues the previously documented rise in the percentage of young adults receiving HPV vaccination, Peter Boersma, MPH, and Lindsey Black, MPH, with the NCHS Division of Health Interview Statistics, note in their data brief published online online January 7.

The new data are based on the 2013–2018 National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative household survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized US population.

By gender, the percentage of women who ever received one or more doses of HPV vaccine rose from 36.8% in 2013 to 53.6% in 2018, and the percentage of men more than tripled, from 7.7% to 27.0%.

For all survey years, women were more likely than men to have ever received one or more doses of HPV vaccine.

Vaccine Completion Rates Up Too

The data also show that more young adults are completing the HPV vaccine series; 21.5% received the recommended number of doses in 2018, up from 13.8% in 2013.

The percentage of women who received the recommended number of doses of HPV vaccine increased from 25.7% in 2013 to 35.3% in 2018, and the percentage of men increased from 2.0% in 2013 to 9.0% in 2018.

Women were more likely than men to have received the recommended number of doses of HPV vaccine during all survey years.

In 2018, receipt of one or more doses of HPV vaccine was highest among non-Hispanic white adults (42.1%) and lowest among Hispanic adults (36.1%). For all race and Hispanic ethnicity groups, women were more likely than men to have ever received one or more doses of HPV vaccine.

Currently in the United States, HPV vaccination is recommended at age 11 to 12, with catch-up vaccination recommended through age 26. Two doses of vaccine, given 6 to 12 months apart, are recommended if the series is started before age 15. Three doses, to be completed within 6 months, are recommended for those who started vaccination at age 15 or older.

Most young adults who ever received one or more doses of HPV vaccine did so between ages 13 and 17, Boersma and Black report.

Women were more likely than men to receive the first HPV vaccine dose before age 13 (21.9% vs 11.8%). Men were more likely to receive it between ages 18 and 26 (27.4% vs 18.3%).

HPV vaccination recommendations were issued earlier for girls (in 2006) than for boys (in 2011), which may explain differences in age at vaccination by gender, the authors say.

"Monitoring vaccination prevalence may help inform strategies to increase HPV vaccination rates," they conclude.

NCHS. NCHS Data Brief No. 354. Published online January 7, 2020. Full text

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