Telephone interviews of health department personnel in six states and review of an immunization database from one state were conducted to assess human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine availability, recommendations, cost, policies, and educational materials in health departments in seven Appalachian states. Most (99.1%) health departments (n = 234) reported receiving patient requests for the HPV vaccine, and only two (1%) health departments reported that they did not provide the vaccine for patients. HPV vaccine supply was reported to not meet the demand in 10.5% (24/228) of health departments due to high costs. Level (state, region, county) at which policy about the HPV vaccine was determined, vaccine recommendations, costs, and available educational materials varied among states. This study documented variation in vaccine availability, recommendations, cost, policies, and educational materials in Appalachian health departments that could significantly affect vaccine distribution. Findings highlight the need for more comprehensive and consistent policies that maximize accessibility of the HPV vaccine to women, especially those in underserved areas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases