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ReThinkHPVaccination kick-off meeting

Despite the fact that 90% of cancers associated with HPV infection can be prevented, vaccination coverage in Europe varies, with low and very low rates in Central and Eastern European countries. Romania ranks first in terms of cervical cancer mortality, with a 4 time higher mortality rate than the EU average.

On March 10, 2023 was the first official meeting of the ReThinkHPVaccination project, the Kick-off Meeting. The project aims to reduce inequalities in HPV vaccination through personalized communication and training, based on social innovations and behavioral health determinants. Thus, the goal is to rethink HPV vaccination campaigns conducted by EU member states, aligning them with the HPV prevention objectives mentioned in the European Cancer Plan and Cancer Mission.

The project is coordinated by the Renașterea Foundation, and its partners are the Centre for Innovation in Medicine, Eurocomunicare Association, and the European School of Oncology as an associated partner. The consortium members discussed the project’s objectives, the task of each work package leaders, the methodology, as well as internal communication strategies and aspects related to project monitoring.

The project will generate data that can inform personalized strategies for vaccination campaigns and recommendations for fighting the infodemic associated with HPV vaccination. Special training programs will be developed for key players involved in HPV vaccination at the national level. Additionally, pilot projects will be carried out in two disadvantaged regions in Romania to assess the level of literacy regarding HPV before and after the project. The results will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders at the national and European levels, especially in countries with a profile similar to Romania's, in order to reevaluate vaccination programs based on national needs and improve or restart these programs. All the relevant data will also contribute to the objectives of the Knowledge Center on Cancer, one of the flagships of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

Through the project, there will be continuous engagement with relevant European institutions and other EU4Health funded projects, to coordinate actions to improve HPV vaccine coverage in the EU.

The "Rethink and Reduce inequalities in HPV vaccination through personalized communication & training, based on social innovation and behavioral determinants of health" (Project ID 101080000, EU4H-2021-PJ2 - Action grants to support actions to improve access to human papillomavirus vaccination) is part of the EU4Health 2022 program and officially started on the 1st of February 2023 and it will end on the 31st of January 2025.

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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