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Promoting the HPV vaccine through partnerships

Posted By Nicole Bryan, Thursday, September 18, 2014

Over the past year, CSTE has worked with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) on a project to highlight the importance of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a public health priority. This project has been a great way for CSTE to extend its relationships to other partners and organizations and to find different ways to impact public health. NFID and CSTE convened subject matter experts to talk about the long-term health impact of HPV and the role of immunization.

An environmental scan of existing resources was conducted in early 2014. This scan sought to enhance access to materials that would help healthcare providers improve vaccination rates. A summary of the environmental scan found many relevant and useful materials for healthcare providers. These materials range from resources for parents and teens to information for medical professionals. The summary emphasizes that key elements be included in communications materials to ensure the information provided is comprehensive and accurate. Key elements include information about the disease; the vaccine and its importance; the vaccine’s target age range, safety, and efficacy; and the benefit to men, among others. The NFID’s new HPV Resource Center includes many tools and resources for healthcare providers and public health professionals.

CSTE has acted as an advisory council to the project and conducted interviews with the states that have the highest and lowest HPV vaccination rates. CSTE members identified and conducted calls with State Epidemiologists and immunization program staff to discuss successes and barriers with regard to Vaccines for Children (VFC) and public clinics, HPV vaccination compared with other adolescent vaccination, and communication efforts toward healthcare practitioners and the public. Common themes were found among all states after having these conversations. Key messaging content focused primarily on cancer prevention, and funding playing a large role, as either a barrier or a success. All jurisdictions interviewed also stated that they would appreciate more helpful, easy-to-share resources in new formats for healthcare providers. There were also some key differences between jurisdictions with higher HPV vaccination rates and those with lower rates. Jurisdictions with higher or lower rates had different access to the vaccine, different cultures (particularly regarding perceptions of the HPV vaccine) and varying relationships with partners, such as pediatric hospitals and school nurses.
A virtual roundtable with several stakeholder organizations was conducted to discuss the importance of HPV vaccination and to develop a call to action document. The call to action urges healthcare providers to prioritize and actively promote HPV vaccination with parents and adolescents. The document lays out why HPV is an important issue, how vaccination addresses the burden of HPV, and how healthcare providers can help reduce the burden of HPV-related cancers in the U.S.
This work continues in the form of CSTE’s Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (VPD) Subcommittee. The subcommittee combines the work of the Adult and Child Immunization Subcommittees and will continue the work begun with CSTE’s partnership with NFID. The first VPD Subcommittee call will be September 23 at 2:00 pm ET via WebEx (login information below). It will include a presentation on the challenges and new directions for the pertussis case definition from Anna Acosta and Jeff Davis, an update on this Promotion of HPV Vaccination through Partnerships project, and an open forum to discuss future subcommittee projects.
Join us for the subcommittee call and explore the HPV Resource Center’s materials!
To join the 9/23 VPD Subcommittee call:
  • Access the webinar at:
  • Enter your full name and jurisdiction abbreviation in the name field, your email address, and session password (vpd123). You can log in to the webinar beginning at 1:45 PM ET by following the instructions on your screen.
  • To join the audio portion of the call:
    • To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the training session, or call the number below and enter the access code.
    • Call-in number: (877) 668-4490
    • Access code: 798 883 447
  • Check the WebEx system requirements before the webinar. Please contact WebEx for webinar troubleshooting.

Nicole Bryan
Associate Research Analyst
Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists

Tags:  infectious disease  staff spotlight  subcommittee  vaccine preventable disease 

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