Colorado teen vaccinations beat national averages, but behind goals for HPV

2 min. read
Prepping an HPV vaccination. (Pan American Health Organization/Flickr)

Prepping an HPV vaccination. (Pan American Health Organization/Flickr)

Colorado teen vaccination rates are up since last year and now beat national averages, according to the results of a 2015 survey released Monday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The National Immunization Survey for Teens targeted 13- to 17-year-olds nationwide regarding their vaccination status for chickenpox; HPV; meningitis; measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap). As of 2015, national vaccination coverage for chickenpox, meningitis and HPV rose, while MMR remained static and Tdap coverage actually fell.

Despite that, the survey found Colorado teen rates exceeded the national average for every vaccination on the survey. And now more teens are now getting vaccinations commonly recommended for 11- and 12-year-olds.

“We’re very proud of the progress we are making in protecting Colorado teens against vaccine-preventable diseases,” executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Dr. Larry Wolk said in a statement.

“Even with these gains, many teens remain unnecessarily vulnerable to serious diseases, especially HPV,” Wolk added.

Colorado has met federal goals for all vaccinations with the exception of those recommended for HPV. HPV vaccinations are recommended by healthcare professionals for prevention against genital warts and certain cancers in both males and females.

Here’s the breakdown by percentage of 13- to 17-year-olds who’ve received each vaccination:

Chicken Pox

  • Colorado: 92%, up eight points
  • National: 83%, up two points

HPV for girls

  • Colorado: 46%, up four points
  • National: 42%, up two points

HPV for boys

  • Colorado: 37%, up 15 points
  • National: 28%, up six points


  • Colorado: 86%, up nine points
  • National: 81%, up nine points


  • Colorado: 92%, unchanged
  • National: 91%, unchanged


  • Colorado: 93%, up by up three percentage points
  • National: 86%, down slightly

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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