Current rates of HPV vaccination are below goal. Research suggests women find it acceptable to receive the HPV vaccine postpartum. Little is known about current practice patterns for postpartum administration of this vaccine.METHODS:
A cohort of privately insured 18–26 year old women with uncomplicated live born pregnancies was analyzed from the Truven Health Analytics MarketScan Commercial Claims and Encounters database. Eligibility required continuous insurance enrollment from June 2006 through one year postpartum and no doses of HPV vaccine prior to delivery. The outcome of interest was HPV vaccination in the year postpartum. Descriptive statistics were performed.RESULTS:
This cohort included 48,001 women. Eight hundred sixty-one women (1.8%) received any HPV vaccine in the year postpartum and 337 women (0.7%) completed the 3-vaccine series. Women who received the vaccine, compared to women who did not, were younger (21 versus 23 year old), more often the dependent to the insurance beneficiary (56% versus 30%), and had more abnormal pap smears in the year prior (19.6% versus 9.1%) or post delivery (16.4% versus 4.9%). On average the first dose of vaccine was given 150 days postpartum (range 3–365 days). Seventy percent of women attended a postpartum visit. When initiated within 2 months postpartum 44% of women completed the vaccine series compared with 38% of women initiating the vaccine after 2 months postpartum.CONCLUSION:
Very few postpartum women eligible for the HPV vaccine are receiving it in this privately insured cohort. This is a missed opportunity for administration of this cancer preventing vaccine.