Newsroom

Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 25, 2011

New Study Finds Fewer than Half of Female Teens Have Been Vaccinated for HPV, Thousands of Women Develop Cancer Needlessly: Reaction Statement from TFAH

Washington, D.C., August 25, 2011 –  Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new study, National, State, and Local Area Vaccination Coverage among Adolescents Aged 13-17 Years, in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which finds fewer than half of female teens have been vaccinated against Human papillomavirus (HPV) and, even when female teens begin the vaccination, only two in three complete the series. According to the report, there are also significant racial/ethnic and poverty disparities for HPV vaccination completion rates and in cervical cancer rates, so the disparities in the vaccination rates will continue to compound the disease disparity rates.  The following is a statement from Jeff Levi, PhD, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health on the new data:

“These rates are nothing short of tragic.  We could be sparing an entire generation from HPV, which can lead to a range of STDs, cervical cancer and other cancers.  While given in teenage years, this vaccine, which is now available free of cost for most teens as part of the prevention benefits in the Affordable Care Act, protects people for their entire lives. 

We need public health officials to begin a major education campaign that overcomes parental misunderstandings about vaccines and the willingness of some policymakers to put the future health of today’s youth at unnecessary risk because of squeamishness about sexually transmitted infections.  Approximately 20 million Americans – about five percent of the U.S. population – are currently infected with HPV, and another six million are infected each year. 

Annually, around 12,000 women develop cervical cancer, 3,700 develop vulvar cancer, 1,000 develop vaginal cancer and 2,700 develop anal cancer.  According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the estimated lifetime total medical cost of HPV infection for men and women aged 15–24 is $2.9 billion, which makes HPV the second most expensive STI after HIV.  In addition, the direct medical care costs associated with cervical cancer were estimated to equal $1.7 billion in 1996 dollars, according to the CDC.

We can spare the next generation this fate and unburden them of significant health care costs, if we pull our heads out of the sand.”

State

HPV Vaccination Rates of 13-17 Year Old Female Adolescents*

Cervical Cancer Rates per 100,000 Population**

Cervical Cancer Deaths per 100,000 Population***

Alabama

 45.8%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

Alaska

 40.8%

4.5 - 6.2

Rate Suppressed

Arizona

 52.8%

6.3 - 7.5

1.0 - 2.0

Arkansas

 37.9%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

California

 56.1%

7.6 - 8.4

2.1 - 2.4

Colorado

 52.5%

6.3 - 7.5

1.0 - 2.0

Connecticut

 57.9%

6.3 - 7.5

1.0 - 2.0

Delaware

 63.9%

8.5 - 11.2

Rate Suppressed

District of Columbia

 57.5%

8.5 - 11.2

Rate Suppressed

Florida

 41.1%

8.5 - 11.2

2.5 - 2.8

Georgia

 43.5%

7.6 - 8.4

2.9 - 4.2

Hawaii

 62.7%

6.3 - 7.5

1.0 - 2.0

Idaho

 38.8%

4.5 - 6.2

2.5 - 2.8

Illinois

 39.7%

7.6 - 8.4

2.5 - 2.8

Indiana

 37%

6.3 - 7.5

2.5 - 2.8

Iowa

 48.2%

4.5 - 6.2

2.1-2.4

Kansas

 40.2%

6.3 - 7.5

1.0 - 2.0

Kentucky

 40.1%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

Louisiana

 54.2%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

Maine

 54.6%

6.3 - 7.5

2.1 - 2.4

Maryland

 41.6%

6.3 - 7.5

2.1 - 2.4

Massachusetts

 65.9%

4.5 - 6.2

1.0 - 2.0

Michigan

 49.4%

7.6 - 8.4

1.0 - 2.0

Minnesota

 51.3%

4.5 - 6.2

1.0 - 2.0

Mississippi

 34%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

Missouri

 41.4%

7.6 - 8.4

2.5 - 2.8

Montana

 45.5%

4.5 - 6.2

Rate Suppressed

Nebraska

 52.3%

7.6 - 8.4

Rate Suppressed

Nevada

 47.4%

N/A

1.0 - 2.0

New Hampshire

 49.6%

4.5 - 6.2

2.1 - 2.4

New Jersey

 35.4%

8.5 - 11.2

2.1 - 2.4

New Mexico

 48.4%

6.3 - 7.5

2.1 - 2.4

New York

 56.2%

7.6 - 8.4

2.5 - 2.8

North Carolina

 51.9%

6.3 - 7.5

2.1 - 2.4

North Dakota

 41.7%

Rate Suppressed

Rate Suppressed

Ohio

 44%

6.3 - 7.5

2.5 - 2.8

Oklahoma

 47.4%

8.5 - 11.2

2.5 - 2.8

Oregon

 54.1%

7.6 - 8.4

1.0 - 2.0

Pennsylvania

 52.3%

7.6 - 8.4

2.1 - 2.4

Rhode Island

 73%

6.3 - 7.5

Rate Suppressed

South Carolina

 41.5%

7.6 - 8.4

2.9 - 4.2

South Dakota

 68.8%

4.5 - 6.2

Rate Suppressed

Tennessee

 33.1%

7.6 - 8.4

2.5 - 2.8

Texas

 47.5%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

Utah

 39.2%

4.5 - 6.2

Rate Suppressed

Vermont

 49.6%

Rate Suppressed

Rate Suppressed

Virginia

 54%

4.5 - 6.2

2.5 - 2.8

Washington

 69.3%

4.5 - 6.2

2.1 - 2.4

West Virginia

 42.4%

8.5 - 11.2

2.9 - 4.2

Wisconsin

 54.4%

4.5 - 6.2

1.0 - 2.0

Wyoming

 53.2%

4.5 - 6.2

Rate Suppressed

* ≥1 dose of human papillomavirus vaccine, either quadrivalent or bivalent. Percentage reported among females only (n = 9,220). National, State, and Local Area Vaccination Coverage among Adolescents Aged 13-17 Years, in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6033a1.htm?s_cid=mm6033a1_w

** Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. Rates are suppressed if fewer than 16 cases were reported in a state. Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999-2007 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.

*** Rates are per 100,000 and are age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. Rates are suppressed if fewer than 16 cases were reported in a state. Source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999-2007 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs.

Trust for America's Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.  www.healthyamericans.org.

###

Contact

Media Contacts: Albert Lang (202) 223-9870 x 21 or alang@tfah.org or Laura Segal (202) 223-9870 x 27 or lsegal@tfah.org