EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A new report indicates that the percentage of adults ages 18-26 years who received one or more doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine nearly doubled between 2013 and 2018. Over the same period, the percentage of adults in the same age category who received the recommended number of doses of HPV vaccine increased from 13.8% to 21.5%.

The percentage of women from 2013-2018 who received one or more doses increased from 36.8% in 2013 to 53.6% in 2018, while the percentage of men more than tripled from 7.7% to 27%.

Among adults who received one or more doses of HPV vaccine, data indicated that women were more likely than men to have received their first dose of HPV vaccine at or before the recommended age of 12 years.

Results of a new report indicate that the percentage of adults ages 18-26 years who received one or more doses of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine nearly doubled between 2013 and 2018. The percentage of adults in the same age category who received the recommended number of doses of HPV vaccine increased from 13.8% to 21.5%.1

Authors of the report from the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that the percentage of women from 2013-2018 who received one or more doses increased from 36.8% in 2013 to 53.6% in 2018, while the percentage of men more than tripled from 7.7% to 27%.1

One Dose May Provide Protection

Among adults who received one or more doses of HPV vaccine, data indicated that women were more likely than men to have received their first dose of HPV vaccine at or before the recommended age of 12 years. Since vaccination recommendations were issued in 2006 for girls and 2011 for boys, researchers explained that the differences in dates may explain the differences in numbers.1

Findings from a new study published by researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston suggest that one dose of the HPV vaccine may prevent infection.2 However, it is not time to change current practice, explained senior author Ashish Deshmukh, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor at the university’s School of Public Health. Global HPV vaccine coverage rates currently register at less than 10% due to poor vaccine uptake rates in many resource-limited countries, notes Deshmukh. Even administering the initial dose to boys and girls is a “big challenge” in several countries, and many teens fail to complete the recommended series due to a lack of infrastructure needed to administer them, Deshmukh says.

“If ongoing clinical trials provide evidence regarding sustained benefits of a one-dose regimen, then implications of single-dose strategy could be substantial for reducing the burden of these cancers globally,” said Deshmukh in a statement.3

Time to End HPV-Related Cancers

In July 2019, the Association of American Cancer Institutes, American Association for Cancer Research, the Biden Cancer Initiative, and Moffitt Cancer Center hosted a congressional briefing, called Let’s End HPV-related Cancers, in Washington, DC. The briefing served as a call to action for policymakers and other stakeholders to help eliminate cervical cancer and other cancers caused by HPV.

Through high vaccine coverage and widespread participation in cervical cancer screening and treatment programs, prevention specialists hope to meet the following Department of Health and Human Services “Healthy People 2020” goals:

• vaccinate more than 80% of females and males ages 13-15 years,

• screen 93% of eligible females for cervical cancer;

• provide prompt follow-up and treatment of females who screen positive for high-grade cervical precancerous lesions.

Diagnoses Across All Age Groups

People are being diagnosed with HPV-related cancers as early as their 20s, through their 40s and 50s, and even later, Caroline Billingsley, MD, a University of Cincinnati Health gynecologic oncologist and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, said in a statement.4 The FDA recently approved the expanded use of the HPV vaccine to include individuals through age 45, she stated.5

Recommendations from the CDC call for boys and girls ages 9-14 years to receive the two-dose HPV immunization. A three-dose schedule is recommended if the first dose was given on or after the 15th birthday.6

“The goal is to reduce the HPV virus and prevent, or lessen, the incidence of related cancers in males and females of current and future generations,” said Billingsley.4

REFERENCES

  1. Boersma P, Black LI. Human papillomavirus vaccination among adults aged 18-26, 2013-2018. National Centers for Health Statistics Data Brief 2020. Available at: https://bit.ly/3aRoTYz.
  2. Sonawane K, Nyitray AG, Nemutlu GS, et al. Prevalence of human papillomavirus infection by number of vaccine doses among US women. JAMA Netw Open 2019;2:e1918571.
  3. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Women with single dose of HPV vaccine gain similar protection as multiple doses, Dec. 27, 2019. Available at: https://bit.ly/2FYhXdz.
  4. University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. HPV vaccine: No longer just for teens, Jan. 12, 2020. Available at: https://bit.ly/3a9D22K.
  5. Meites E, Szilagyi PG, Chesson HW, et al. Human papillomavirus vaccination for adults: Updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:698-702.
  6. Meites E, Kempe A, Markowitz LE. Use of a 2-dose schedule for human papillomavirus vaccination — updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1405-1408.