New vaccine introduction in Tamil Nadu: a case study of the HPV vaccine

Study Status:
Key policy makers and other influential stakeholders including medical professionals, government officers, and representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), religious organizations, and international development agencies

Study Summary:
This qualitative study was initiated to better understand policy makers’ and other influentials’ views on the potential introduction of HPV vaccines in Tamil Nadu. With the goal of providing guidance for an informed and effective public-sector HPV vaccine-introduction strategy in Tamil Nadu, issues critical to the introduction of a new vaccine targeting adolescents, information required to make a decision about introducing the vaccine and recommendations for introduction were explored. This study suggests that policy makers will need additional information to make an informed decision regarding HPV vaccination including data on prevalence and the socio-economic burden related to cervical cancer as well as the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. They will also need to understand the link between HPV and cervical cancer, alternative means of preventing cervical cancer, why the vaccine would be a critical complementary method of prevention and the impact of the vaccine on the current and future health of girls. Understanding the information needs of policy-makers and other influentials is one piece of a puzzle of information required to inform decisions and develop introduction programs for new vaccines and other health technologies.