Geographic Factors and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccination Initiation among Adolescent Girls in the United States

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2016 Feb;25(2):309-17. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-15-0658. Epub 2016 Jan 14.


Background: This study is among the first to explore geographic factors that may be associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake in the United States.

Methods: Data from the 2011 and 2012 National Immunization Survey-Teen for 20,565 female adolescents aged 13 to 17 years were analyzed to examine associations of HPV vaccine initiation (receipt of at least one dose) with ZIP code-level geographic factors. Logistic regression including individual and geographic factors was used to estimate the odds of HPV vaccine initiation.

Results: Approximately 53% of girls initiated the HPV vaccine in both years. Girls in high poverty communities had higher HPV vaccine initiation compared with those in low poverty communities [61.1% vs. 52.4%; adjusted OR (AOR), 1.18; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 1.04-1.33]. Initiation was higher among girls in communities where the majority of the population was Hispanic (69.0% vs. 49.9%; AOR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.43-1.87) or non-Hispanic mixed race (60.4% vs. 49.9%; AOR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.17-1.44) compared with majority non-Hispanic white communities. Interactions between individual-level race/ethnicity and community racial-ethnic composition indicated significantly higher odds of initiation among Hispanic girls living in Hispanic communities compared with Hispanic girls living in predominantly non-Hispanic White (NHW) (AOR, 2.23; 95% CI, 1.87-2.65) or non-Hispanic Black (NHB) (AOR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.20-3.04) communities, respectively.

Conclusion: Initiation rates of HPV vaccination among teen girls were highest in the poorest communities and among Hispanics living in communities where the racial-ethnic composition was predominantly Hispanic or mixed race.

Impact: Given low HPV vaccination rates in the United States, these results provide important evidence to inform public health interventions to increase HPV vaccination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines / administration & dosage*
  • United States


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines