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To evaluate the implementation of Ontario's publicly-funded, school-based HPV immunization program through a process evaluation. The immunization program targets grade 8 females. Ontario vaccine-preventable disease managers were the key informants for this evaluation. Ontario, Canada. 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. 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. 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.

Citation

Sarah E Wilson, Emily Karas, Natasha S Crowcroft, Erika Bontovics, Shelley L Deeks. Ontario's school-based HPV immunization program: school board assent and parental consent. Canadian journal of public health = Revue canadienne de santé publique. 2012 Jan-Feb;103(1):34-9

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PMID: 22338326

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