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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Socioeconomic predictors of human papillomavirus vaccination among girls in the Danish childhood immunization program

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PURPOSE: In 2009, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination was introduced in the Danish national childhood immunization program targeting all 12-year-old girls. Previous findings suggest that 10%-13% of girls born in 1996-1997 have not initiated vaccination despite free access. This study aims to identify socioeconomic predictors of initiation and completion of HPV vaccination.

METHODS: Girls born in 1996-1997 and their guardians were identified through the Danish Civil Registration System. Information on socioeconomic variables and HPV vaccination status was obtained by linkage to Statistics Denmark and the Danish National Health Insurance Service Register. Through logistic regression, we examined associations between socioeconomic variables and HPV vaccine initiation (N = 65,926) and completion (N = 61,162).

RESULTS: Girls with immigrant ethnicity (odds ratio [OR] = .49; 95% confidence interval [CI], .42-.57) had lower HPV vaccine initiation than Danish girls. Girls of mothers with basic education (OR = .75; 95% CI, .69-.82) or low disposable income (OR = .67; 95% CI, .61-.73) had decreased initiation compared with girls of mothers with higher education/income. Girls of unemployed mothers (OR = .75; 95% CI, .69-.82) or mothers being unmarried (OR = .70; 95% CI, .65-.76) had lower initiation than girls of employed or married mothers. Finally, vaccine initiation varied depending on place of residence. The predictors of HPV vaccine completion were similar to those of initiation.

CONCLUSIONS: We found social inequality in the initiation and completion of HPV vaccination despite free access. As socioeconomic risk factors identified for cervical cancer also are associated with decreased HPV vaccination, social inequalities in cervical cancer have the potential to increase.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
Volume56
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)402-7
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

ID: 45869285