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Field Guide – HPV Risk and Crisis Management

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  • Target Audience
  • Communication Specialists
  • Program Implementers

The purpose of this guide is to provide the necessary guidance to implement proactive communication approaches and interventions before and after a new HPV immunization program is introduced to a region or country, as well as guidance when an HPV vaccinerelated crisis occurs. It is meant to support the development of a communication plan addressing different stakeholders that are trusted by the public, such as government ministries, media members, or social influencers. When a new immunization plan is introduced at the national or local level, there is a high chance that the public will expresses concerns. This is especially true if the vaccine being introduced is new and unfamiliar to those who are receiving it, and, even more so, if an adverse event occurs after the introduction. The HPV vaccine is different from all previous vaccines introduced because it is for girls of a specific age group (even though boys are included in some countries). The vaccine targets a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer. In this context, it’s important to have a robust risk and crisis management plan in place to guide interventions and actions in timely and effective manner. Preparation is the key to effective risk and crisis management. This means that you and your organization should have a plan in place to respond to vaccine safety issues (VSI) and understand the potential risks involved in the introduction of a new vaccine. You must also understand the best ways to communicate with members of the public about the risks involved in vaccination and about any VSI that occur due to the HPV vaccine. This guide will assist you in developing a plan for both risk communication and crisis management.