HPV vaccination for preventing cervical and other HPV-associated cancers: Comparing the knowledge and understanding of factors influencing initiation and completion of the UK and Ugandan school-based vaccination programme

Supervisors: Dr Amanda Mason-Jones and Professor Robert Newton


A vaccination programme for human papilloma virus (HPV) was introduced for adolescent girls in September 2008 in the UK and is currently being given as a two-dose schedule in schools as part of the healthy child programme for girls aged 11-14 years.  The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recently agreed to introduce it for boys also.  In Uganda, the vaccine was introduced more recently as the burden of disease from cancer of the cervix is a leading cause of death for women. The vaccines are cost effective for preventing pre-cancerous lesions associated with HPV. However there remain a number of unanswered questions about the HPV vaccination programme coverage, inequalities in access to the vaccine both countries, and the experiences and views of young people receiving the vaccine.

Key research questions

The overall aim is to investigate the HPV vaccination programme in the UK and Uganda. A range of methods will be used that will require skills in evidence synthesis, and quantitative and qualitative research. Key research questions are likely to include the following:

  1. How effective has the HPV vaccination programme been in changing the prevalence of circulating HPV types?
  2. What are the barriers and facilitators to HPV vaccine uptake, initiation and completion among adolescent girls aged 14-18 years
  3. How do differences of opinion between parents/guardians and their son's/daughter's affect the uptake and completion of the HPV vaccination programme.
  4. What are the similarities and differences between the UK and Uganda in terms of attitudes to HPV vaccination?

Please email Dr Mason-Jones with a two-page CV if you are interested and would like to be considered for this project.