Human papillomavirus vaccine uptake in boys and girls in a school-based vaccine delivery program in Prince Edward Island, Canada

Vaccine. 2015 Apr 8;33(15):1786-90. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2015.02.047. Epub 2015 Feb 27.


Background: In 2013, Prince Edward Island was the first province to introduce HPV vaccine universally to grade six boys in a school-based program. Because uptake rates in boys are unknown in this type of vaccination program, uptake of HPV vaccination in boys was measured and compared with uptake rates in girls and then analyzed with factors such as county, urban-rural location of the school, and school board to identify where the vaccine program could be improved.

Methods: HPV vaccination records from the provincial childhood immunization registry in PEI were merged with Department of Education data containing all grade six girls and boys in PEI. Vaccine uptakes between years and between sexes were compared using two sample tests of proportions. Logistic regression modeling which accounted for the hierarchical nature of the data was used to analyze associations between factors and uptake rates.

Results: Although uptake was high in boys and girls, a significantly greater proportion of girls (85%) received all three doses of the HPV vaccine compared to boys (79%; p=0.004). The odds of grade six girls being fully vaccinated for HPV were 1.5 times greater than of grade six boys, and the odds of students in the English Language School Board receiving all three doses were more than twice as great as the odds of French Language School Board students.

Conclusions: HPV vaccination for boys in PEI has had a successful launch, almost reaching the Canadian Immunization Committee recommendations of >80% for the early years of a program. PEI has a highly organized Public Health Nursing program that is involved in all childhood and school-based vaccinations in PEI and in this context very high coverage rates were obtained. Areas to target for improving uptake include the boys and the students in the French Language School Board.

Keywords: HPV; HPV vaccination; Human papillomavirus; Public Health Nursing; School-based; Uptake.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Records, Personal
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Nurses, Public Health
  • Papillomavirus Infections / prevention & control
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • Parental Consent
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Schools*
  • Students
  • Time Factors
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data*


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines