The population effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) catch-up vaccination, defined in the USA as first vaccination at ages 13-26 years, has not been studied extensively. We aimed to assess the risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2, CIN3, adenocarcinoma in situ, or cancer (CIN2+ and CIN3+) by prior HPV vaccination status, age at first dose, and number of doses in women participating in a screening programme within a large integrated health-care system. We performed a nested case-control study of women enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Northern California (an integrated health-care delivery system in California, USA). Cases were women with CIN2+ or CIN3+ confirmed by histology between Jan 1, 1995, and June 30, 2014, and incidence density-selected controls were age-matched women without CIN2+ or CIN3+ at the time each case occurred. For each case, we randomly selected five controls. Cases and controls were aged 26 years or younger when the HPV quadrivalent vaccine became available in 2006. Rate ratios (RRs) from conditional logistic regression were estimated by age at time of first HPV quadrivalent vaccine dose (14-17 years, 18-20 years, and ≥21 years), and number of doses (one, two, and three or more doses) compared with no prior vaccination, with adjustment for smoking, hormonal contraceptive prescription, race or ethnicity, sexually transmitted infections, immunosuppression, parity, and number of outpatient visits. 4357 incident CIN2+ cases and 21 773 matched controls were included in the study. Of these, 1849 were incident CIN3+ cases with 9242 matched controls. The youngest age at time of first vaccination was 14 years. One or more HPV vaccine doses conferred protection against CIN2+ (RR 0·82, 95% CI 0·73-0·93) and CIN3+ (0·77, 0·64-0·94). We found the strongest protection against CIN2+ in women who had received at least three vaccine doses and had received their first dose aged 14-17 years (0·52, 0·36-0·74) or aged 18-20 years (0·65, 0·49-0·88). No significant protection was found in women aged 21 years or older at time of first dose (0·94, 0·81-1·09). Inferences were similar for CIN3+, but with stronger effects for women who received at least three vaccine doses and had received their first dose aged 14-17 years (0·27, 0·13-0·56) or aged 18-20 years (0·59, 0·36-0·97). Catch-up quadrivalent HPV vaccination with three doses was effective against CIN2+ and CIN3+ in girls and women aged 14-20 years at time of first vaccine dose but not for women aged 21 years and older at first dose. US National Cancer Institute.