CPHA Canvax

Québec Ministry of Health and Social Services, National Public Health Institute of Québec (INSPQ)

Project Title: HPV Vaccination in Elementary Schools: Developing effective strategies for increasing vaccination coverage
Funding Recipient: Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ)
Project Contact: Dr. Nadine Sicard, medical consultant, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux (nadine.sicard@msss.gouv.qc.ca)
Project Period: March 15, 2019 to March 31, 2021

About the project

Although human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination programs were implemented in Québec schools in 2008, the vaccination coverage (VC) rates for HPV remain below the target of 90%. To improve HPV vaccination acceptance and coverage rates, this project, coordinated by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) in collaboration with the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (MSSS) and three regions of Quebec, seeks to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of elementary school interventions designed to eliminate obstacles to HPV vaccination. This project is informed by the findings of an assessment conducted in 2015–2016, which identified key factors that influence the effectiveness of school-based HPV programs.


This project’s goals and objectives are to develop and evaluate interventions designed to improve HPV vaccine acceptability and vaccination coverage under the vaccination program in Québec elementary schools.

The interventions for parents of Grade 4 pupils are: an HPV information session at the beginning of the school year, a follow-up/reminder email, an interactive information / decision making tool, and telephone follow-up using motivational interview techniques. The parents of Grade 3 pupils will receive information regarding the availability of HPV vaccination in Grade 4.


  • Short Term:
    • This project will provide evidence-based data regarding interventions that have proven to be effective at improving the HPV vaccination coverage rates through a school-based vaccination program.
    • This project intends to improve the HPV VC rates among the students in the schools that are part of the intervention. 
  • Medium Term:
    • This project will provide evidence-based data that will support the implementation of interventions designed to increase vaccination acceptance and coverage rates in schools in Québec schools, and potentially elsewhere in Canada.
  • Long Term:
    • This project seeks to improve the HPV VC rates in elementary schools in Québec. Project outcomes will also contribute to the larger evidence-base regarding how to influence vaccination behaviours in Canada and abroad, particularly with respect to knowledge gaps surrounding HPV vaccination strategies in schools.

The challenge that the project addresses

Some factors associated with lower HPV VC rates identified by the initial assessment include:

  • Individual factors (parents’ hesitation to have young children vaccinated against sexually transmitted infections).
  • Sociocultural factors (parents’ cultural and religious values, influence of negative social media content and influence of negative opinions of certain healthcare professionals or school staff).
  • Mother tongue (English-language communities may be less favourable to HPV vaccination in school).

About Québec Ministry of Health and Social Services

The mission of the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec (MSSS) is to maintain, improve, and restore the health and wellbeing of Quebecers by providing them with integrated, high-quality health and social services, thereby contributing to Québec’s social and economic development. The Direction générale-adjointe de la Protection de la Santé Publique (DGAPSP), a centre within the MSSS, is responsible for Québec Immunization Program (QIP). The QIP ensures the planning, implementation, funding, and assessment of the program. The DGAPSP is responsible for development and application of ministerial immunization guidelines throughout Québec. Public health centres across all regions of Québec ensure regional implementation of the ministerial guidance.

About the Institut national de santé publique du Québec

The mission of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) is to support the MSSS, regional public health authorities, and Québec’s health and social services institutions to perform their public health responsibilities by providing expertise and specialized laboratory and screening services. This includes surveillance of the population’s health status, development of knowledge, assessment of public policies, and knowledge exchange.


Last Reviewed: October 24, 2019