Background: Administration of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is recommended for adolescent girls and young adult women. Little is known about the factors associated with vaccination. This study examined prevalence and correlates of HPV vaccine initiation (≥1 dose) among a statewide representative sample of adolescent and young adult females living in California. Methods: HPV vaccination data on 3615 parents of adolescent girls aged 12-17 and 2068 young adult women aged 18-27 from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were examined by sociodemographic, healthcare access, and health behavior factors using chi-square and multivariable logistic regression models. Results: Nineteen percent of adolescent girls and 11% of young adult women had initiated the HPV vaccine series. In both groups, lower educational attainment (parental/own) was associated with lack of vaccine initiation. For adolescents, vaccine initiation was also significantly lower among those whose parents had low incomes or no usual source of care. For young adults, initiation was lower among the older group and those who spent less time in the United States, had public insurance, had no recent provider visit, or had fewer sexual partners. Conclusions: In a statewide representative sample, different correlates of early initiation of HPV vaccination emerged for Californian adolescent girls and young adult women. These different patterns may be due to differential access to programs that provide free or low-cost HPV vaccines. Because several of these factors are associated with disparities in use of Pap tests, disparities will persist or even worsen unless greater effort is placed on vaccinating populations at highest risk for cervical cancer.
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