Despite the availability of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, non-Latinx (NL) Southeast Asian Americans have the highest incidence of HPV-associated cervical cancer in the US. Little is known about NL-Southeast Asian Americans’ HPV vaccination coverage due to being categorized under the “Asian American” monolith. Therefore, this study uses restricted data from the 2011–2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to disaggregate NL-Southeast Asian Americans and compare this population’s age-specific probabilities of initiating HPV vaccinations to two Asian American subgroups (NL-East Asian and NL-South Asian Americans) and NL-White, NL-Black, and Latinx Americans. Multinomial logistic regression models examine the differences in the timing of initiating the HPV vaccine series, late (ages 13–26) or never, relative to on-time vaccination (by age 12). NL-Southeast Asian Americans are significantly more likely to never vaccinate and to vaccinate late than NL-White, NL-Black, and Latinx Americans, relative to on-time vaccination. NL-Southeast Asian American boys/men are significantly more likely to never initiate the HPV vaccine than Latinx boys/men, relative to on-time vaccination. NL-Southeast Asian American girls/women are significantly more likely to never vaccinate and vaccinate late than NL-White, NL-Black, and Latinx girls/women, relative to on-time vaccination. There are significant gender differences in uptake among all racial and ethnic groups, except among NL-Southeast and NL-East Asian Americans. Disaggregated data on NL-Southeast Asian Americans helps scholars and public health officials uncover health disparities and improve health interventions. Targeted HPV vaccine promotion and services for this population are needed to mitigate current and future health disparities and promote health equity.
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I wish to warmly thank Stefanie Mollborn, Jason Boardman, Richard Rogers, Phillip Pendergrass, Jani Little, Kas McLean, Scott Holeman, Kristen Drybread, Cameron Riopelle, and Stef Shuster for their generous feedback and thoughtful comments on this manuscript. I would also like to thank the SWS writing group members for the solidarity and support.
This research benefited from administrative, research, and computing support through the University of Colorado Population Center (CUPC), funded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health (P2CHD066613). The author received research funding support from the Department of Sociology, the Institute of Behavioral Science, and the Center to Advance Research and Teaching in the Social Sciences (CARTSS) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH, CUPC, or the University of Colorado.
This study was approved by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
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Truong-Vu, KP. Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Differences in the Timing of Initiating the HPV Vaccine in the United States: the Case of Southeast Asian Americans. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40615-023-01689-0