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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Reasons for non-vaccination against HPV and future vaccination intentions among 19-26 year-old women

Gregory D Zimet1*, Thomas W Weiss2, Susan L Rosenthal3, Margaret B Good4 and Michelle D Vichnin2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 410 W. 10th Street, HS 1001, Indianapolis, IN, 46202, USA

2 Merck & Co., Inc. West Point, PA, USA

3 Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

4 I3 Innovus, Eden Prairie, MN, USA

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BMC Women's Health 2010, 10:27  doi:10.1186/1472-6874-10-27

Published: 1 September 2010

Abstract

Background

Despite CDC recommendations regarding universal catch-up vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), only about ten percent of young adult women in the United States have been vaccinated. The purpose of this study was to better understand reasons for non-vaccination among insured 19-26 year-old women and to evaluate future vaccination intentions.

Methods

We used an administrative claims database from a large US managed care plan to identify women aged 19-26 for receipt of a mailed survey. From a sample of 1,375 women with no evidence of HPV vaccination from June 1, 2006 through April 30, 2007, 222 completed surveys were received, of which 185 were eligible for this analysis. The main outcome measures were unvaccinated women's attitudes and vaccine awareness, likelihood of future action regarding the vaccine, and reasons for inaction.

Results

Among the 185 non-vaccinees, 25.4% were married, 83.2% were white, and 89.2% had a college or higher level education. The vaccine was described as very important by 32.4% of subjects, and 30.1% had discussed the vaccine with a doctor and received a doctor's recommendation. Half or fewer of respondents were "very" or "extremely" likely to discuss the vaccine with their doctor (50.0%), do additional research on the vaccine (42.6%), ask a doctor to get the vaccine (37.5%), or make an appointment to get the vaccine (27.8%), while 48.0% were "somewhat", "very", or "extremely" likely to do nothing to get the vaccine. Among the latter, reasons for taking no action included being married or in a monogamous relationship (54.9%), belief that the vaccine is too new (35.4%), not having enough information about the vaccine (31.7%), concerns about side effects (24.4%), and uncertainty about insurance coverage (24.4%).

Conclusions

Educational interventions may be needed to enhance HPV vaccination rates among 19-26 year-old women, particularly regarding information about vaccine safety, vaccine efficacy, insurance coverage, and the value of vaccination to women in monogamous relationships.