Featured Priority: HPV Vaccination

Despite the availability of a safe and effective human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, not enough young people are fully vaccinated against HPV. This leaves them at risk for a number of cancers caused by HPV later in life. We work with vaccination and cancer prevention partners to strengthen HPV vaccination efforts across the nation.

HPV Vaccination: A Public Health Priority

HPV infections are common — and the complications can be serious. Every year in the United States, HPV is estimated to cause 32,500 cancers in men and women. HPV vaccination could prevent about 30,000 of these cases from ever developing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children receive the full HPV vaccine series at age 11 or 12.1 But evidence shows that:

  • HPV vaccination rates for both males and females remain low, with less than half of adolescents receiving the needed doses in 20162
  • While the percentage of teens receiving the first dose of the HPV vaccine is increasing, the completion rate for the full series is still low2
  • HPV vaccination rates show significant gender, ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic disparities

Implementing Recommendations to Strengthen HPV Vaccination Efforts Across the Nation

In its role managing the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), the Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Prevention (OIDP) has supported the development of two NVAC reports focused on HPV.

In 2018, the NVAC released their most recent report on strengthening HPV vaccination efforts, identifying 4 key focus areas:

  • Expanding the network of national partners
  • Encouraging the growth of state coalitions
  • Optimizing the use of accountability measures and immunization information systems
  • Conducting additional research and supporting technology-based solutions to address the unique needs of rural communities

OIDP is working with the Assistant Secretary for Health and a number of dedicated partners to assess these recommendations and identify areas for implementation.

The report builds on the 2015 NVAC Report, “Overcoming Barriers to Low HPV Vaccine Uptake in the United States: Recommendations from the National Vaccine Advisory Committee.”

Related Resources

Explore these additional resources related to HPV vaccination:


1 HPV Vaccines: Vaccinating Your Preteen or Teen. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/vaccine.html.
2 Reagan-Steiner S, Yankey D, Jeyarajah J, et al. National, regional, state, and selected local area vaccination coverage among adolescents aged 3 – 17 years — United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Report. 206; 65(33): 850 – 858.
3 Dorell C, Yankey D, Jeyarajah J, et al. Delay and refusal of human papillomavirus vaccine for girls, national immunization survey — teen, 2010. Clinical pediatrics. 2014; 53(3): 261 – 269.
4 Farmar AM, Love-Osborne K, Chichester K, Breslin K, Bronkan K, Hambridge SJ. Achieving high adolescent HPV vaccination coverage. Peds. 2016; 138(5): e1 – e7.
5 Hswen Y, Gilkey MB, Rimer BK, Brewer NT. Improving physician recommendations for HPV vaccination: The role of professional organizations. Sex Transm Dis. 2017; 44(1): 42 – 47.

Content created by Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP)
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