Coalition to Strengthen the HPV Immunization Community (CHIC)

The challenge

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide and affects both sexually active men and women. HPV is preventable through effective screening and vaccination measures. To combat cervical cancer, it is essential to advocate for building and supporting optimized local programs, guiding rapid country adoption of revisions in vaccine schedule recommendations, and accelerating HPV vaccine introduction. To date, three safe and efficacious HPV vaccines have been prequalified by the World Health Organization. These vaccines protect against more than 70% of cancer-causing HPV infections.

The increasing health system strain imposed by COVID-19 creates challenges in improving HPV vaccine supply and uptake. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures have led to the suspension of immunization activities in various countries and increased the risk of under-immunization in low-resource settings.

 

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Approach

This initiative serves to unite the efforts and resources of 4 partnering organizations, combining the efforts and expertise of colleagues from the International Vaccine Access Center at Johns Hopkins University (IVAC), Jhpiego, the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination at the University of Antwerp, and the Vaccine Confidence Project (VCP) at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Together, they are working to build and support optimized local programs, guide rapid country adoption of revisions in schedule recommendations, and accelerate HPV vaccine introduction. The overarching goal is efficient translation of implementation research findings to guide practice and more equitable access to immunization ideally within the context of a stable HPV vaccine market.

To reach this goal, they will work collectively to achieve the following primary and intermediate objectives/outcomes:

  • Build consensus on best practices and the research agenda
  • Strengthen, equip, and empower the HPV vaccine community of practice
  • Build consensus on evidence for practices in policies, programs and research priorities
  • Increase translation and use of evidence to shape policies and programs
  • Increase salience of HPV vaccination among regional and country decision-makers and key influencers in Gavi-eligible countries