Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics (formerly Human Vaccines)
August 2013 Volume 9, Issue 8
HPV vaccination coverage among women aged 18–20 years in Germany three years after recommendation of HPV vaccination for adolescent girls: Results from a cross-sectional survey
Yvonne Deleré, Merle M. Böhmer, Dietmar Walter and Ole Wichmann
Routine immunization of adolescent girls aged 12–17 y against human papillomavirus (HPV) was recommended in Germany in March 2007. We aimed to assess HPV-vaccine uptake and knowledge about post-vaccination cervical cancer screening and condom use in women aged 18–20 years, three years after adoption of HPV-vaccination into the routine vaccination schedule.
Overall 2,001 females participated in our study. Of these, 49% reported receipt of a complete three-dose course of HPV-vaccines; 11% received 1 or 2 doses. Living in East Germany, high educational status, and interest in health-related issues were independently associated with HPV-vaccination. Misconceptions among survey-participants were rare: Only 8% believed that HPV-vaccination would obviate the need for cervical screening and 1% that condom use would be dispensible after vaccination.
In 2010, a nationwide cross-sectional telephone-survey was performed among randomly-selected women aged 18–20 years living in Germany. Telephone interviews were conducted by a large professional market research institute as part of a daily omnibus survey.
HPV-vaccination coverage is low in Germany. The results indicate that there is an urgent need for the implementation of a coordinated adolescent vaccination program to facilitate access to vaccination, including balanced information tailored to this age group. Otherwise, the HPV-vaccination effort will fall short of reaching its maximum public health benefit.