Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus almost everyone will be infected with at some point in their lives. In most cases, HPV goes away on its own and people infected with the virus never knew they had it.

However, when HPV does not go away, it can cause health problems such as genital warts and cancer. Cancer often takes years to develop after a person is infected with HPV. HPV-associated cancers include six types: cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal, penile, and oropharyngeal (throat). HPV vaccination can prevent these cancers from ever developing.

Every year, HPV causes approximately 31,500 cancers in the United States, which includes an estimated 262 Iowans. In fact, HPV-related cancers kill more people every year than polio, measles, tetanus, and chickenpox (varicella) combined before vaccines for these diseases were developed.

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What is the HPV vaccine?

Over 80 percent of these cancers can be prevented with the HPV vaccine. Vaccinating adolescents now with HPV vaccine can provide protection throughout their lives.

  • HPV is a common virus that infects teens and adults.
  • HPV vaccine is effective.
  • Your child can get protection from HPV cancers during the same visit they are protected against other serious infections that can cause meningitis and whooping cough.
  • HPV vaccination provides safe, effective, and long-lasting protection.
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When should children receive the HPV vaccine?

Both girls and boys should start the HPV vaccination series at age 11-12 years. All 11-12 year olds should get a two-shot series of HPV vaccines at least 6 months apart. The vaccination series can be started as early as age 9.

All older teens and young adults are recommended to complete the HPV vaccine series if they have not already done so. A three-dose series is needed for those with weakened immune systems and those 15 years of age and older.

Additional information regarding HPV vaccine and HPV-related cancers can be found at American Cancer Society and CDC web pages. 

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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine Data Visualization

View data visualization

2023 Data Summary: 2023 HPV Vaccine Data Summary 

The HPV vaccination coverage for adolescents age 13-15 years includes series initiation (series has not been completed) and series completion. These data can identify trends and patterns in immunization coverage over time and in different geographic areas. The year selected in the visualization will include children that were 13-15 years old in that year. For example, the 2021 results include children born between 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2008.

Measure Description:

  • HPV Vaccine Series Initiated - Not Completed: Has received at least one dose of the HPV vaccine series, but has not completed the series. This category excludes individuals that have received a completed HPV vaccine series.
  • Complete HPV Vaccine Series: Has received all of the required doses of the HPV vaccine series based upon the age criteria. This category excludes individuals that have not received a complete HPV vaccine series.
  • Patients in IRIS: The number of patient records in IRIS for Iowa residents.
  • County Population of 13-15 Year Olds: The Number of 13-15 Year Olds in the County, based on census estimates.
  • HPV Vaccine Comparison: Comparing the percent of population with complete HPV vaccine series or HPV vaccine series initiated but not complete to the percent of population up-to-date with other adolescent vaccines, Meningococcal and Td/Tdap. This tab shows the disparities between HPV and other vaccinations in the adolescent platform.

Measure Calculations:

  • Rate of selected HPV Vaccine Measure by Adolescents in IRIS: The number of adolescents with Complete HPV Vaccine Series or Series Initiated- Not Completed divided by the number of patient records in IRIS.
  • Rate of selected HPV vaccine Measure by County Population: The number of adolescents with Complete HPV Vaccine Series or Series Initiated –Not Completed divided by the County Population of 13-15 Year Olds.
  • Census Population with IRIS Record: The percent of the Census population with patient record in IRIS, calculated as the number of patient records in IRIS divided by the county Census population. This measure demonstrates the completeness of IRIS data and representation of the county population in IRIS.

Data Notes:

  • The Iowa Department of Public Health began calculating HPV vaccination coverage in both females and males starting in 2013.
  • An individual may have an “unknown” gender when gender is not indicated on the patient record in IRIS. Gender is not a required field in IRIS.
  • Complete HPV Vaccine Series and HPV Vaccine Series Initiated, Not Complete are distinct and non-overlapping categories.
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County Immunization Report

The county immunization report provides a snapshot of immunization data and allows users to filter data based on county and year of interest. Users also have the ability to download the report to PDF. Currently, childhood, adolescent, HPV, and adult immunization county reports are available for download.

To access and download a specific county report, select the following link and select the County and Year from the drop-down. Download the PDF using the button on the bottom right of the report. 

HPV Immunization Report

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