Understanding the barriers to HPV vaccine uptake: an exploration of the Canadian landscape on HPV immunization programming opportunities
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Urban Public Health Network, University of Saskatchewan, Ottawa, Canada
School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Canada
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1992
Background and Objectives: The Canadian partnership against cancer has provided funding to the urban public health network to assess the landscape of HPV immunization coverage, barriers, and opportunities at a sub-jurisdictional level, in order to achieve the target of 90% HPV immunization to support the work of the action plan to eliminate cervical cancer in Canada by 2040. This work has involved engaging local public health organizations across Canada to uncover high-resolution quality improvement targets of investment for underimmunized populations. Methods: This project uses a mixed-method design to understand barriers and facilitators to increasing HPV immunization uptake at a sub-provincial level. Stakeholders were engaged from across Canada and analysts were placed in four local public health units, to extract sub-provincial level HPV programming insights. HPV immunization data was collected at a sub-provincial level, and in some cases, down to a postal code or school level. Coverage rates were then linked to socio-demographic indicators where possible to identify pockets of under-immunization. To further determine barriers and facilitators, surveys, focus groups, and interviews took place with caregivers and providers. Results: Preliminary results indicate the availability of HPV immunization data is highly variable across Canada, as is HPV immunization programming. Barriers to immunization have been identified at both individual (e.g. Lack of healthcare provider recommendation, misinformation) and systems-level (e.g. Absence of a national immunization registry) in participating regions to varying degrees. Conclusions: Understanding how barriers and facilitators impact HPV immunization uptake at a local level is critical to implementing innovative policies and programming. Findings will be reported by region and/or subgroup, as well as aggregated nationally to inform recommendations made to CPAC on ways to address inequities in access and uptake.
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