Estimated acceptance of HPV vaccination among Italian women aged 18-26 years

Cristina Giambi, Serena Donati, Silvia Declich, Stefania Salmaso, Marta Luisa Ciofi degli Atti, Maria Pia Alibrandi, Silvia Brezzi, Francesca Carozzi, Natalina Collina, Daniela Franchi, Amedeo Lattanzi, Margherita Meda, Maria Carmela Minna, Roberto Nannini, Isabella Scherillo, Antonino Bella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In Italy vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) was introduced in the national immunization programme in 2007; the primary target for this vaccination is 11-year-old females, whereas vaccination for older age groups is still a matter of debate. This project was carried out in the period 2007-2009 to estimate the acceptance rate among 18-26-year-old, to whom free-of-charge vaccination was actively offered. Socio-demographic factors associated with acceptance were also investigated. A sample of 1159 women was randomly selected from resident population lists of 10 Local Health Units in 6 of Italy's 21 Regions; 1032 women were deemed eligible for the study. Of the eligible women, 580 received at least one vaccine dose for an acceptance rate of 56.2% and 542 received all three vaccine doses (52.6%). The acceptance rate was significantly higher for: residents of northern and central Italy (OR adj=2.22, 95%CI 1.64-3.01 and OR adj=1.77, 95%CI, 1.20-2.61 respectively), compared to southern Italy; women with a high educational level (OR adj=1.41; 95%CI: 1.02-1.93); and students (OR adj=1.64; 95%CI: 1.13-2.37). The low immunization rate highlights the difficulties of reaching young adult women, although the current coverage rates observed in the primary target population of HPV vaccination campaign (64%) emphasize that achieving high coverage rates is challenging also in younger age groups. Our results suggest that it would be premature to extend the active free-of-charge offer of HPV vaccination to older women and that efforts should be focused on the priority target, considering that the objective of 95% coverage established for this age group is still far from being attained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8373-8380
Number of pages8
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - Oct 26 2011


  • Acceptance
  • HPV vaccination
  • Italy
  • Young adult women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • veterinary(all)
  • Molecular Medicine


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