Barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among young adults, aged 18–35

Meera Muthukrishnan, Travis Loux, Enbal Shacham, Jasmin A. Tiro, Lauren D. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In the United States (US), an estimated 35,900 human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers are diagnosed annually. HPV vaccines are projected to eliminate ∼90% of these cancers. Routine vaccination is recommended at age 11–12 with “catch-up” vaccination through age 26 and shared clinical decision making for ages 27–45. However, vaccine uptake has been slow with many young adults remaining unvaccinated. This study examined barriers to HPV vaccination among individuals aged 18–35 years and assessed likelihood of future HPV vaccination. Age-eligible participants (n = 499) recruited through Facebook advertisements, Facebook posts, and clinics (6/2019–3/2020) completed an online survey. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis examined HPV vaccine barriers and intent. Logistic regression models examined predictors of HPV vaccine intent. Most (57.1%) reported they were not at all likely to get vaccinated for HPV in the future. Lower intent was associated with belief that the vaccine is not necessary (aOR: 0.134, 95% CI: 0.073, 0.246) and not safe (aOR: 0.312, 95% CI: 0.126, 0.773). Intent was positively associated with the belief that health insurance would not cover vaccination (aOR: 2.226, 95% CI: 1.070, 4.631). Provider recommendation was not significantly associated with vaccine intention. This study highlights challenges to HPV vaccine uptake for young adults. Though several successful interventions exist, most target adolescents and their parents or providers. Future steps should use this evidence to inform development of targeted interventions to increase HPV vaccine intention and uptake in adults, ultimately reducing the burden of HPV-related cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101942
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Barriers
  • HPV vaccine
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Vaccine intentions
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Barriers to human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination among young adults, aged 18–35'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this