About the project

The “Rethink and Reduce Inequalities in HPV Vaccination through Personalized Communication & training, based on social innovation and behavioral determinants of health” Project is co-funded by the European Union through EU4Health Programme and will be implemented by a consortium composed of the Renasterea Foundation for Woman’s Health (as coordinator), the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, and the Eurocomunicare Association (as partners), and the European School of Oncology (as associated partner). 

Although HPV-generated cancers are some of the most preventable forms of cancer, the vaccine uptake in Central Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, and EU-widening countries is low or very low. HPV infection is responsible for 99.7% of cervical cancers and two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70% of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions. Evidence also links HPV with cancers of the anus, vulva, vagina, penis, and oropharynx. The now-available HPV vaccine covers 90% of the circulating strains of the virus. the virus. 

In this context, vaccination of the female and male populations should be one of the public health priorities. Theoretically, it is, but practically the results are missing in many countries – Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Albania and so on are the best examples on how lack of access to the right information, misinformation/fake-news, unrealistic communication strategies and the infodemic related to vaccination in general (including Covid-19 vaccination) can generate thousands of avoidable deaths. These countries, with Romania being one of the worst, have the highest rate of preventable and treatable deaths in European Region.   

The ReThinkHPVaccination Project aims at changing this narrative and reducing inequalities in HPV vaccination between and within countries through personalized communication & training, based on social innovation and assessment and targeted interventions on the behavioral determinants of health. The main goal of this project is to support Member States and EU-widening countries to ReThink and ReStart their HPV vaccination campaigns and so take a step closer to achieving Europe's Beating Cancer Plan and Cancer Mission objectives with regards to HPV vaccination and cancer prevention. 

General Objectives: 

1. Provide evidence-based knowledge for European countries with a low HPV vaccination rate on the best communication and engagement strategy to restart or improve their HPV vaccination campaigns based on the understanding of behavioral determinants of health and social innovation. 

2. Provide guidance on how to tackle the vaccination and HPV vaccination infodemic, fake-news and disinformation/conspiracy theories. 

3. Develop training programs for the key actors in the process of HPV vaccination at the national level (training of trainers) - from implementing the idea of getting vaccinated until the vaccination itself. 

4. Implement the training and knowledge in two disadvantaged regions in Romania (Pilot Projects) and measure the level of HPV vaccination literacy before and after the implementation. 

5. Disseminate the information to the national authorities and to other NGOs or civil entities from Romania and to representatives of other countries with a similar profile. 

6. Engage with relevant European institutions (e.g., Joint Research Center) and to contribute to the objectives of the Knowledge Center on Cancer, one of the flagships of Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. 

Project structure: 

WP1 and 7 – Project management, monitoring and evaluation 

WP2 - Knowledge Centre on HPV vaccination 

WP3 - Combating fake-news and the infodemic 

WP4 - Designing HPV vaccination communication trainings 

WP5 - Pilot project in Romania 

WP6 - Best practices transfer

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
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