Completion of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Series Lags in Somali Adolescents

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It is unknown whether the Somali population in the United States is likely to participate in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. We aimed to determine whether Somali girls living in a US community are following the recommendations for HPV vaccination.

Materials and Methods

We conducted a study of HPV vaccination among Somali girls seen at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Each Somali subject was matched by year of birth to white/non-Hispanic subjects in a 1:3 ratio. We abstracted information between August 1, 2006, and December 31, 2009, related to HPV vaccine series initiation and completion. Initiation and completion frequencies were compared between study groups using the χ2 test.


A total of 251 Somali and 727 white/non-Hispanic girls were identified, using the Rochester Epidemiology Project, who met all inclusion criteria for final analysis. A total of 114 Somali girls (45%) and 334 white/non-Hispanic girls (46%) initiated the series (odds ratio = 0.98; 95% confidence interval = 0.73–1.31), but only 59 Somali girls (52%) completed the vaccination series, compared with 240 (72%) of the white/non-Hispanic girls (odds ratio = 0.42; 95% confidence interval = 0.27–0.65).


We found Somali girls to be generally accepting of initiating the HPV vaccine series but less likely to complete the series as compared with white non-Hispanic girls of the same age.

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