HPV Vaccination Rates for Teenage Girls Remain Low

HPV vaccination rates continue to lag significantly behind rates for the other vaccines universally recommended for adolescents.

Coverage rates for the three vaccines universally recommended for adolescents are on the rise, though rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine continue to lag significantly behind the others, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the August 26 edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report is based on data gathered in 2009 and 2010 by the National Immunization Survey—Teen (NIS-Teen), which tracks vaccine coverage of adolescents aged 13 through 17. Along with the HPV vaccine, the report looked at the meningococcal conjugate (MenACWY) vaccine and the tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. One dose each of MenACWY and Tdap are recommended, while three doses of HPV are recommended.

From 2009 to 2010, coverage rates rose from 55.6% to 68.7% for the Tdap vaccine, from 53.6% to 62.7% for the MenACWY vaccine, from 44.3% to 48.7% (among females) for at least one dose of the HPV vaccine, and from 26.7% to 32.0% (among females) for at least three doses of the HPV vaccine. At least 24 weeks must elapse between the first and third doses of HPV vaccine. Among girls who started the series, 94.3% had enough time to complete it, and 69.6% of these completed the three-dose sequence.

Coverage rates varied widely by state for all three vaccines—from 29.0% for Tdap in Mississippi to 87.9% in New Hampshire, 26.0% for MenACWY in Mississippi to 89.5% in the District of Columbia, 28.8% for at least one dose of HPV among females in Idaho to 73.0% in Rhode Island, and 17.6% for three or more doses of HPV among females in Idaho to 55.1% in Rhode Island. In general, vaccine coverage was significantly lower among adolescents in the southeastern US compared with adolescents in the rest of the country.

NIS-Teen is conducted by randomly calling households, conducting surveys with parents of teens, and then obtaining information on vaccination records with their permission. In 2010, 58.0% of respondents participated in the survey, and 59.2% of participants gave permission to obtain vaccination records for 19,488 adolescents.


National and State Vaccination Coverage Among Adolescents Aged 13 Through 17 Years --- United States, 2010 [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report]