Background Despite the high efficacy of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, uptake has been slow and little data on psychosocial barriers to catch-up vaccination exist.
Methods A community sample of 428 women enrolled in a longitudinal study of social development were interviewed about HPV vaccine status, attitudes, and barriers to HPV vaccination in spring 2008 or 2009 at ∼age 22.
Results 19% of women had initiated vaccination, 10% had completed the series, and ∼40% of unvaccinated women intended to get vaccinated. Peer approval was associated with vaccine initiation (Adjusted Prevalence Ratio (APR) 2.5; 95% CI 1.7 to 3.8) and intention to vaccinate (APR 1.5; 1.2–1.9). Belief the vaccine is <75% effective was associated with less initiation (APR 0.6; 0.4–0.9) or intention to vaccinate (APR 0.5; 0.4–0.7). Vaccine initiation was also less likely among cigarette smokers and illegal drug users, whereas intention to vaccinate was more common among women currently attending school or with >5 lifetime sex partners, but less common among women perceiving low susceptibility to HPV (APR 0.6; 0.4–0.8) see Abstract P5-S6.30 table 4.
Conclusions HPV catch-up vaccination uptake was low in this community sample. Increasing awareness of susceptibility to HPV and the high vaccine efficacy, along with peer interventions to increase acceptability, may be most effective.
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