Human papillomavirus vaccine initiation among 9-13-year-olds in the United States

Kelly L. Donahue, Kristin S. Hendrix, Lynne A. Sturm, Gregory D. Zimet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The quadrivalent and 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines are licensed for administration among 9-26-year-old males and females, with routine vaccination recommended for 11-12-year-olds. Despite the availability of the vaccine at younger ages, few studies have explored vaccine uptake prior to age 13, and national HPV vaccination surveillance data is limited to 13-17-year-olds. Our objective was to examine rates and predictors of HPV vaccine initiation among 9-13-year-olds in the United States. A national sample of mothers of 9-13-year-olds in the United States (N= 2446) completed a 2014 Web-based survey assessing socio-demographic characteristics, child's HPV vaccination history, provider communication regarding the vaccine, and other attitudes and behaviors pertaining to vaccination and healthcare utilization. The main outcome measure was child's initiation of the HPV vaccine (i.e., receipt of one or more doses). Approximately 35% of the full sample and 27.5% of the 9-10-year-olds had initiated HPV vaccination. Females were more likely than males to have initiated HPV vaccination by the age of 13 but not by younger ages. Strength of health provider recommendation regarding HPV vaccination was a particularly salient predictor of vaccine initiation. Approximately a third of children may be initiating the HPV vaccine series before or during the targeted age range for routine administration of the vaccine. Because coverage remains below national targets, further research aimed at increasing vaccination during early adolescence is needed. Improving providers' communication with parents about the HPV vaccine may be one potential mechanism for increasing vaccine coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-898
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Nov 30 2015


  • Early adolescence
  • Healthcare providers
  • Immunization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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