Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Requirements in US Schools: Recommendations for Moving Forward

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Safe and effective human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines have been available and recommended for adolescents for a decade in the United States, yet vaccination rates remain suboptimal. School entry requirements have increased uptake of other vaccines for adolescents and made coverage more equitable. However, only 3 jurisdictions require HPV vaccine for school.

We summarize the current status of HPV vaccine requirements and discuss the rationales for and against these policies. The rationales for requirements include HPV vaccine efficacy and safety, effectiveness of requirements for increasing vaccine uptake and making it more equitable, and use of requirements as “safety nets” and to achieve herd immunity. The rationales against requirements include low parental acceptance of HPV vaccine, the financial burden on educational systems and health departments, and the possibility for alternatives to increase vaccine uptake.

Many challenges to HPV vaccine requirements are addressable, and we conclude with recommendations on how to approach these challenges.

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