BACKGROUNDSince 2006 Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination has become available to adolescent girls and women in an increasing number of countries, to protect against the virus causing cervical cancer. The vaccine series is offered in three doses over 6 months, and this study aimed to identify factors associated with initiation and/or completion of the 3 dose series in (pre-) adolescent girls. Previous studies have considered intention to vaccinate rather than actual vaccination uptake.METHODSA systematic search of Medline, Medline in process, Embase and CINAHL, from 2006 to March 2011 for articles related to HPV-vaccine uptake among adolescent girls and factors potentially associated with uptake yielded 25 studies.RESULTSThe majority of studies were surveys or retrospective reviews of data, only 5 studies reported data on program completion. Most were conducted in the United States (20/25). Higher vaccine uptake was associated with having health insurance, of older age, receipt of childhood vaccines, a higher vaccine related knowledge, more healthcare utilization, having a healthcare provider as a source of information and positive vaccine attitudes. In US settings, African American girls were less likely to have either initiated or completed the three dose vaccination series.CONCLUSIONSHPV vaccination programs should focus on narrowing disparities in vaccine receipt in ethnic and racial groups and on providing correct information by a reliable source, e.g. healthcare providers. School-based vaccination programs have a high vaccine uptake. More studies are required to determine actual vaccine course completion and factors related to high uptake and completion, and information from a broader range of developed and developing settings is needed.