Cancer Res Treat.  2018 Apr;50(2):436-444. 10.4143/crt.2017.174.

Awareness of and Attitudes toward Human Papillomavirus Vaccination among Adults in Korea: 9-Year Changes in Nationwide Surveys

  • 1Department of Cancer Control and Population Health, National Cancer Center Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, Goyang, Korea.
  • 2Cancer Risk Appraisal & Prevention Branch, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has been included in the National Immunization Program in Korea since 2016. We aimed to evaluate changes in the awareness of and attitudes toward HPV vaccination, among adults in Korea since the first introduction of the vaccines in 2007.
A nationwide population-based survey was conducted in 2016 for 1,200 nationally representative Korean men and women; the data obtained were compared with the data from the nationwide survey conducted in 2007.
A significant increase in the awareness of HPV infection (35.8%) and vaccination (36.9%) was observed in 2016 from 13.3% and 8.6% in 2007, respectively. Willingness to be vaccinated against HPV decreased from 55.0% in 2007 to 25.8% in 2016, and the proportion of respondents expressing uncertainty increased from 28.3% in 2007 to 43.3% in 2016. Only 12.1% of men and 22.0% of women knew about the free national HPV vaccination program for girls, launched in June 2016. Younger women, with higher income level, awareness of the HPV vaccine, and perception of the seriousness of infections had a higher willingness to be vaccinated. A high education level, awareness of HPV infection and vaccination, and perception of the seriousness of infection were positively associated with the willingness of respondents to vaccinate their daughters.
Raising the awareness of HPV infection and vaccination with appropriate knowledge is necessary for the successful implementation of the national HPV vaccination program.


Human papillomavirus; Vaccination; Awareness; Korea
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