School-Based, Voluntary HPV Vaccination: What Can Texas Learn From Australia?
While a vaccine has been developed that protects against the majority of cancer-causing HPV strains, vaccination rates remain low in the United States. Nationwide, vaccination completion rates are unlikely to reach goals set by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Healthy People 2020 initiative. Further, rates in Texas lag behind national averages. Australia has high HPV vaccination rates, due in part to their successful school-based vaccination program. Using archival research, I will identify approaches used in Australia’s school-based vaccination program that could be applied to programs in Texas. Data obtained from phone interviews with two researchers implementing school-based HPV in Texas: Dr. Ana Rodriguez in the Rio Grande Valley and Dr. Paula Cuccaro in Houston, will be used as case studies. I will assess barriers and catalysts reported by the programs and use these findings along with suggestions from Australia to improve school-based vaccination programs in Texas.