Understanding Parents' Views Toward the Newly Enacted HPV Vaccine School Entry: A Qualitative Study
Background: Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) is an important tool for prevention of HPV- related cancers. In Puerto Rico, the Secretary of Health established a school entry requirement of at least 1 dose of HPV vaccination in girls and boys aged 11 and 12 years taking effect in August 2018. Our study aims to examine parents' views and opinions of the process of implementing the new HPV vaccination school entry policy in Puerto Rico, and understand barriers and facilitators related to this HPV
... immunization policy. Methods: Three focus group (n=12) and eight in-depth semi-structured interviews were performed, along with a survey. The interviews were recorded and transcript by our staff members. Through a thematic analysis were identified emergent themes. Results: Lack of information in relation to the policy were the theme most mentioned in the interviews. Moreover, participants expressed that previous negative experiences, from friends or family member, adverse effect and the lack of communication from school and healthcare providers deter them from the decision of vaccinated their kids. Barriers in the process of soliciting an exemption was discussed. Conclusion: Most barriers mentioned by participants who express hesitation about vaccinating their kids with the HPV vaccine, are modifiable providing parents information about the mandate's implementation, and educational materials that address their concerns related to the vaccine's side effects. Implementation of this efforts, however, need to consider impacting the school (teachers, principal directors, and administrative staff), the government and parents. This multilevel approach will help to improve the dissemination of information about HPV vaccination in order to clarify doubts and misinformation among hesitant parents.