HPV vaccination rate in South lags behind the rest of US

November 7, 2013

Young women in the South lag behind their counterparts in other regions around the US when it comes to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, according to a recent study in Vaccine.

 

Young women in the South lag behind their counterparts in other regions around the US when it comes to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, according to a recent study in Vaccine.

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston used data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System that had been collected between 2008 and 2010. Twelve states were chosen to represent 4 regions in the country: the Northeast (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island); the Midwest (Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska); the West (Wyoming); and the South (Delaware, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia).

Across all 4 regions, an average of 28% of women reported beginning the vaccine regimen and 17% indicated that they had completed the 3-dose series over the 3-year period studied. The Northeast region had the highest rate of HPV vaccination initiation and completion at 37.2% and 23.1%, respectively. The South had significantly lower rates of initiation (14%) and completion (6%). Rates of 28.7% and 19.3%, respectively, were seen in a combination of the Midwest/West.

Even after adjusting for a number of variables such as age, marital status, and routine medical checkups, women in the South were still less likely to begin and complete the vaccination than their counterparts.

One potential sign of hope is that the South’s initiation rate rose from 14% in 2008 to 22.5% in 2010, although this still pales in comparison to the 44.1% initiate rate for the Northeast in 2010. 

 

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