Human Papillomavirus Vaccination History Among Women With Precancerous Cervical Lesions: Disparities and Barriers

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To estimate racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic differences in human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination history among women aged 18–27 years with precancerous cervical lesions diagnosed, barriers to vaccination, and timing of vaccination in relation to the abnormal cytology result that preceded the diagnosis of the cervical lesion.


High-grade cervical lesions are reportable conditions in Connecticut for public health surveillance. Telephone interviews and medical record reviews were conducted during 2008–2010 for women (n=269) identified through the surveillance registry.


Overall, 43% of women reported history of one or more doses of HPV vaccine. The mean age at vaccination was 22 years. Publicly insured (77%) and uninsured (85%) women were more likely than privately insured women (48%) to report no history of vaccination (P<.05). Among unvaccinated women, being unaware of HPV vaccine was reported significantly more often among Hispanics than non-Hispanics (31% compared with 13%, P=.02) and among those with public or no insurance compared with those with private insurance (26% and 36% compared with 6%, P<.05 for both). The most commonly reported barrier was lack of provider recommendation (25%). Not having talked to a provider about vaccine was reported significantly more often among those with public compared with private insurance (41% compared with 18%, P<.001). Approximately 35% of women received vaccine after an abnormal cytology result; this occurred more frequently among African American women compared with white women (80% compared with 30%, P<.01).


Catch-up vaccination strategies should focus on provider efforts to increase timely coverage among low-income and minority women.



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