Human papillomavirus vaccine coverage among female Australian adolescents: success of the school-based approach

Med J Aust. 2013 Nov 4;199(9):614-7. doi: 10.5694/mja13.10272.


Objective: To describe quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination coverage achieved in the HPV vaccination catch-up program for girls aged 12-17 years.

Design: Analysis of data from the Australian National HPV Vaccination Program Register.

Participants: Girls aged 12-17 years as at 30 June 2007.

Main outcome measures: HPV vaccine coverage by dose (1, 2 and 3), age and state of residence, using Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates of resident populations as the denominator.

Results: Notified vaccination coverage for girls aged 12-17 years nationally was 83% for dose 1, 78% for dose 2 and 70% for dose 3. The Australian Capital Territory and Victoria recorded the highest three-dose coverage for the 12-17-year-old cohort overall at 75%. The highest national three-dose coverage rate by age was achieved in 12-year-olds (74%). In Queensland, coverage among Indigenous girls compared with non-Indigenous girls was lower with each dose (lower by 4% for dose 1, 10% for dose 2 and 15% for dose 3). This pattern was not seen in the NT, where initial coverage was 17% lower among Indigenous girls, but the course completion rate among those who started vaccination was identical (84%).

Conclusions: The catch-up HPV vaccination program delivered over 1.9 million doses of HPV vaccine to girls aged 12-17 years, resulting in 70% of girls in this age group being fully vaccinated. The range in coverage achieved and the lower uptake documented among Indigenous girls suggest that HPV vaccination programs can be further improved.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Vaccination / methods
  • Mass Vaccination / organization & administration
  • Mass Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Registries
  • School Health Services* / statistics & numerical data
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines