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Can J Public Health. 2012 Jan-Feb;103(1):34-9.

Ontario's school-based HPV immunization program: school board assent and parental consent.

Author information

1
Public Health Ontario, Toronto, ON. sarah.wilson@utoronto.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the implementation of Ontario's publicly-funded, school-based HPV immunization program through a process evaluation.

PARTICIPANTS:

The immunization program targets grade 8 females. Ontario vaccine-preventable disease managers were the key informants for this evaluation.

SETTING:

Ontario, Canada.

INTERVENTION:

Ontario's Public Health Units (HUs) are responsible for the local implementation of the immunization program. The process evaluation involved a telephone-based, semi-structured questionnaire which included questions on stakeholder engagement; school and school board participation; communication strategies; and processes for obtaining informed consent.

OUTCOMES:

All 36 HUs participated; 16 (44%) reported difficulties receiving agreement from local school boards to administer HPV vaccine in schools. Two Catholic school boards have not permitted HPV vaccine clinics in their schools: 1 only during the first year and 1 in the second and third years. All HUs request parental consent for students to receive the HPV vaccine and 5/36 also request or encourage student consent; 14 HUs indicated they would immunize a grade 8 girl at a school clinic, in the absence of parental consent, if the student requested immunization and was judged capable of providing informed consent.

CONCLUSION:

Many HUs reported challenges in receiving support from local school boards. Despite this, vaccine clinics have been offered in all but 2 public school boards since 2007. All HUs request parental consent before HPV immunization at school-based clinics; 39% would consider immunizing in absence of parental consent. The results of this process evaluation will inform the HPV immunization program evaluation that is currently underway in Ontario.

PMID:
22338326
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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