Despite high HPV prevalence and low vaccination rates in the military, HPV vaccination is not required upon military service initiation. Given that national HPV vaccination rates remain low among people age 19–26 years, military service may represent an opportune time for intervention. The purpose of this study was to quantify the rate of HPV vaccination among young patients entering primary care at a single Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC). Vaccination rates among veterans age ≤ 26 years old at first primary care visit were identified from the institutional data warehouse. Among 1,258 eligible patients, most were male (n = 782). The HPV vaccine initiation rate was 21.2%. Overall, 10.4% of patients received at least 1 HPV vaccine prior to initiating care at the VA (25.2% females and 1.4% males). An additional 10.8% of patients received their first HPV vaccine upon initiating care at the VA. Median age of first HPV vaccination was 21.4 years among patients that initiated the vaccine in the military versus 24.8 years among those that initiated vaccination at the VA. In conclusion, this study demonstrated low HPV vaccination rates both prior to transitioning to VA primary care and once receiving care at the VA. Additionally, among veterans that had not received vaccination upon initiating care at the VA, older age at vaccination was observed. Older age at vaccination may reduce HPV vaccine effectiveness given higher risk of exposure. Addition of HPV to the list of mandated vaccines upon military service initiation should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1878-1883
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2019


  • HPV vaccination
  • Human Papillomavirus
  • military
  • veterans


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