Building Trust, Managing Risk:
Vaccine Confidence and Human Papillomavirus Vaccination

7-8 June 2017

The Vaccine Confidence Project™ and the HPV Prevention and Control Board hosted this symposium, with sessions covering topics related to:

– The state of HPV vaccination in the world;
– HPV vaccination: real and perceived safety issues;
– Culture, religion and morality around HPV vaccination;
– Immunization anxiety reactions and the HPV vaccine;
– Engaging and communicating with different audiences;
– Strategies to monitor, build and maintain confidence.

This symposium was a unique opportunity to engage with experts in the fields of HPV vaccination and vaccine confidence, and to exchange knowledge and experiences. The event took place at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, one of Europe’s leading Schools of Public Health.

Materials from the meeting, including slides from the presentations and summarising illustrations are available below. Relevant literature will be posted on a regular basis on the right margin of this page.



Original agenda available here.

Day 1: Wednesday June 7th, 2017

  Welcome comments
     – Peter Piot (Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)
 – Pierre Van Damme (University of Antwerp, HPV Prevention and Control Board, Belgium)
 – Heidi Larson (LSHTM, Vaccine Confidence Project™, UK)
  Introductory keynote lecture:  The state of HPV vaccination in the world

Moderator: Margaret Stanley (University of Cambridge, UK)
 – Scott La Montagne (Path, US): The state of HPV vaccination in the world

  Panel: Challenges with HPV vaccine introduction

Moderator: Xavier Bosch (Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain)
 – Alex Vorsters (University of Antwerp, HPV Prevention and Control Board, Belgium): HPV vaccination coverage drop: are there common denominators?
  – Palle Valentiner-Branth (Statens Serum Institute, Denmark): Lessons from the Danish HPV Vaccine Experience
 – Emilie Karafillakis (LSHTM, Vaccine Confidence Project™, UK): Determinants of HPV vaccine hesitancy in Europe

  Panel: Country perspectives on overcoming challenges

Moderator: Joanne Yarwood (Public Health England, UK)
 – Mark Kane (Independent consultant, Seattle, US): Vaccine Safety Issues Lessons from Hepatitis B Immunization Programs
 – Jan Wilhelm (Clinica Alemana, Santiago, Chile): Vaccination campaign against human papilloma virus in Chile
 – Kristine Macartney (University of Sydney, Australia): Vaccine confidence and human papillomavirus vaccination
 – Liesbeth Mollema (RIVM, Netherlands): HPV vaccination in the Netherlands – challenges we have to face
 – Geert Top (Flemish Agency for Care and Health, Belgium): The HPV vaccination programme in Flanders

  Panel: Adolescence and health: What else is going on?

Moderator: Mitchell Weiss (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland)
 – David Ross (WHO Geneva, Switzerland): Global adolescent health coming of age
 – Gregory Zimet (Indiana University, US): Adolescence & Health – What else is going on?
 – Sharon Hanley (Hokkaido University, Japan)

  Feedback from breakout sessions

Moderator: Silvia de Sanjose (Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain)

  End of day final comments

 – Bruce Gellin (Sabin Vaccine Institute, US)
 – Andrew Pollard (University of Oxford, UK)


Day 2: Thursday June 8th, 2017

  Risk communication 

Moderator: Paolo Bonanni (CDC, US)
 – Noel Brewer (University of North Carolina, US): Risk Communication and HPV Vaccination: Fixing a Crisis in Cancer Prevention

  Panel: Monitoring of the media and social media listening

Moderator: Pier Luigi Lopalco (University of Pisa, US)
 – Louisa Tribe (Wellcome Trust, UK): Social listening
 – Priya Bahri (European Medicines Agency, UK): Real-time global media monitoring and ‘derived questions’ for enhancing communication by regulatory bodies – the case of HPV vaccines
 – Tarik Derrough (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Sweden): Media monitoring: Experience of outbreak monitoring at ECDC to monitor vaccine safety potential crisis – A pilot using MediSYS
 – Will Schulz (LSHTM, Vaccine Confidence Project™, UK): Media Monitoring
 – Francesco Gesualdo (Vaccine Safety Network, Italy): VSN network Web analytics project

  Panel: The role of the media

Moderator: Fiona Fox (Science Media Centre, UK)
 – Paul Benkimoun (Le Monde, France): HPV vaccine – An experience at Le Monde
 – Chitra Duella (The News Minute, India): Media’s public health value
 – Huma Khawar (Independent journalist, Pakistan): What role can media play? Anticipating HPV introduction in light of other vaccines in Pakistan
 – Dina Maron (Scientific American, US): One Journalist’s Perspective: Managing Misinformation & Covering Crisis in Real Time

  Panel: Engaging and communicating with different audiences

Moderator: Jason Reifler (University of Exeter, UK)
 – Kim Mulholland (LSHTM, UK)
 – Suleman Malik (UNICEF New York, US): Engaging & Communicating with Different Audience
 – Katrine Habersaat (WHO EURO, Denmark): Engaging and communicating with different audiences

  Wrap up

 – David Fitzsimmons (Independent scientific writer, France)

  Looking forward
   – Pierre Van Damme (University of Antwerp, HPV Prevention and Control Board, Belgium)
 – Heidi Larson (LSHTM, Vaccine Confidence Project™, UK)


Building Trust and HPV Vaccine Confidence with Parents Residing in Rural Areas

Tami Thomas

How NOT to respond to vaccine skepticism – the immunization issue in Serbia from an anthropological perspective

Vesna Trifunović

Japan: Decreasing HPV vaccination coverage: mapping roles of different stakeholders and societal-historical factors.

Alex Vorsters, Sharon J B Hanley, Pierre Van Damme, Emilie Karafillakis, Heidi Larson

Colombia: Decreasing HPV vaccination coverage: mapping roles of different stakeholders and societal-historical factors.

Alex Vorsters, Nubia Muñoz, Raul Murillo, Pierre Van Damme, Emilie Karafillakis, Silvia de SanJosé, Laia Bruni, Heidi Larson

Denmark: Decreasing HPV vaccination coverage: mapping roles of different stakeholders and societal-historical factors.

Alex Vorsters, Palle Valentiner-Branth, Emilie Karafillakis, Pierre Van Damme, Heidi Larson

Can HPV coverage rates of over 90% be reached with the current vaccines?

C Vandermeulen, M Roelants, T Braeckman, G Top, P Van Damme, K Hoppenbrouwers, H Theeten

The Effect of Provider Communication about Vaccination on Mothers’ Willingness to Vaccinate Their Children Against HPV and Influenza: A Randomized Trial of Illustrated Health Messaging Vignettes.

Kelly Donahue, Kristin Hendrix, Lynne Sturm, Gregory Zimet

Guillain-Barré syndrome after HPV vaccine: a self controlled case-series study in England.

Nick Andrews, Julia Stowe, Liz Miller

Qualitative, critical and discursive methodology for exploring ambivalence around the HPV vaccine amongst marginalised groups.

Carol Gray Brunton, Elaine Carnegie, Janette Pow, Anne Whittaker, Irina Todorova

Impact and Effectiveness of the Quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (qHPV) Vaccine: 10 Years of Real-World Experience.

Suzanne M. Garland, Susanne K. Kjaer, Nubia Muñoz, Stan L. Block, Darron R. Brown, Mark J. DiNubile, Brianna R. Lindsay, Barbara J. Kuter, Gonzalo Perez, Geraldine Dominiak-Felden, Alfred J. Saah, Rosybel Drury, Rituparna Das, Christine Velicer

Beliefs about Childhood Vaccination and the HPV Vaccine in Japanese Mothers of Adolescent Girls

Sharon J.B. Hanley

Vaccine Hesitancy in Japan: A Historical Perspective

Sharon J.B. Hanley



Speaker biographies (roll over to view)

Priya Bahri
Priya Bahri completed studies in pharmacy (University of Heidelberg) and epidemiology & biostatistics (McGill University). She gained first work experience in the hospital, community pharmacies and the German international development agency. Her PhD (Humboldt University Berlin & University Utrecht) dealt with quality management of prescribing and inter-professional cooperation for patient safety. She holds post-graduate certificates in strategic health communication (Johns Hopkins University) and global health diplomacy (Graduate Institute Geneva). She has been working at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) since 1996, mainly for the co-ordination of the EU pharmacovigilance system and now the EMA’s scientific lead for pharmacovigilance guideline development (EU-GVP) and risk communication research. In that role she collaborates closely with patient, healthcare professional, academic and industry organisations. Additionally, she liaises with WHO for pharmacovigilance collaboration and participates in ICH and CIOMS working groups. She is active in the learned societies ISoP and ISPE, and provides lectures and research advice to Humboldt University Berlin, the UMC training hubs and the Utrecht WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmaceutical Policy Analysis.

Paul Benkimoun
After working five years as a medical doctor at a mother and child prevention centre in a suburb of Paris, I quitted medical practice in 1988 to become a full time health correspondent with several successive medical journals. In March 1999 I was recruited by Le Monde as a full time health reporter and have worked there ever since covering all kind of topics from medical science to health systems organization, pandemics and patients’ rights.

Since 2006 I’ve started to lecture, mostly at Bordeaux University where I was associate professor from 2006 till 2015. Still lecturing there namely as director of the « Risk Communication on Medicines » domain of the e-learning Master European Training Program on Pharmacovigilance and Pharmacoepidemiology (Eu2P). Other academic activities include lectures at Sciences Po Paris and Conservatoire national des Arts et Métiers (CNAM, Paris). 

Noel Brewer
Dr. Noel T. Brewer is Professor of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina.  Dr. Brewer studies how people make risky health decisions.  His current work focuses on increasing HPV vaccination, improving cigarette pack warnings, and finding ways to explain the harms of medical screening.  Dr. Brewer is chair of the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable and Associate Editor of Health Psychology Review.  Dr. Brewer co-edited the FDA’s book, Communicating Risks and Benefits: An Evidence-Based User’s Guide. 

Dina Maron
(Dina Fine Maron, Editor, Scientific American) Dina Fine Maron is an award-winning journalist who covers health, medicine and biology for Scientific American as an editor and writer. She’s based in Washington, D.C. and covers everything from infectious disease to CRISPR research.  Check out for some of her work in publications including: Newsweek,, Greenwire, ClimateWire, Science News and The Boston Globe. She has a MPH from Johns Hopkins University and has worked in Thailand and Kenya. She has also reported from Tanzania as an International Reporting Project Fellow. (Twitter: @Dina_Maron)

Fiona Fox
Fiona Fox has a degree in journalism and 30 years of experience in working in media relations for high profile national organisations. Her career includes stints working for the Equal Opportunities Committee, National Council for One Parent Families, and CAFOD (a leading aid agency), before her current role as Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre which opened in April 2002. The main remit of the Centre is to help restore public trust in science by persuading more scientists to engage more effectively with the big controversial science stories that hit the headlines, and over the last 10 years the SMC has earned huge praise and respect from those who use its services. Other than her dedication to the SMC, Fiona was chair of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Working Group that published a report on the future of science in the media in January 2010 as part of the UK’s Science and Society strategy. She was the only representative of the science community to appear as a witness at the Leveson Inquiry and blogs and comments regularly on science in the media. She was active in defeating the anti-lobbying clause and has won an UAR Openness Award for her work on openness in animal research. In 2013 Fiona was awarded an OBE for services to science as a result of the work of the SMC.

Bruce Gellin
Dr. Bruce Gellin is President of Global Immunization at the Sabin Vaccine Institute in Washington, DC. In this role, Dr. Gellin oversees Sabin’s mission to make vaccines more accessible, enable innovation and expand immunization across the globe. With a focus on low- and middle-income countries, this work helps countries make evidence-based decisions about vaccine introduction and implementation and strengthens policy, financing and political will for country ownership of immunization.

Before joining Sabin, Dr. Gellin served as the US Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director, National Vaccine Program Office within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. NVPO was created by Congress to provide leadership and coordination among Federal agencies and other immunization stakeholders, including states and municipalities, health care providers, and private-sector entities such as vaccine manufacturers.

Dr. Gellin has had broad experience in public health aspects of infectious diseases and has held positions at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Rockefeller Foundation, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. In addition, was the founder and executive director of the National Network for Immunization Information, an organization he founded to be a resource of up-to-date, authoritative information about vaccines and immunizations.  He has been a regular consultant to the World Health Organization. He currently has faculty appointments at Georgetown University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. 

Dr. Gellin is a graduate of the University of North Carolina (Morehead Scholar), Cornell University Medical College, and the Columbia University School of Public Health, is an infectious disease expert with training in epidemiology. He has written extensively about public health aspects of infectious diseases in medical and non-medical texts and the peer reviewed medical literature and also served as a medical advisor to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Francesco Gesualdo
Francesco Gesualdo is a pediatrician. He has been working as a researcher at the Bambino Children’s Hospital IRCCS, Rome, Italy, since 2008. His main research interests are pediatric infectious diseases, with a specific focus on pertussis and vaccine preventable diseases, and digital medicine. In the past years, he has developed an experience in digital epidemiology, studying the use of Twitter for analysing flu epidemics and allergic diseases, and participating in the development of a platform exploiting different web sources for analysing vaccine confidence among the general public. Currently, he is coordinating a project financed by WHO dedicated to the analysis of the traffic on websites belonging to the Vaccine Safety Net.

During last years, he has developed an interest in scientific writing and in the delivery of effective medical presentations. Francesco Gesualdo also conducts daily clinical activity as a family pediatrician, with a specific interest in breastfeeding and in vaccine promotion.

Katrine Habersaat
Katrine Bach Habersaat is a Technical Officer at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. With a primary focus on community insights and social interventions for behavior change, she works with national immunization programmes to help strengthen vaccine acceptance and demand through tailored strategies, confidence-building and behavior change communication.

Sharon Hanley
Sharon Hanley is a cancer epidemiologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s Health Medicine at Hokkaido University, Japan. She obtained her PhD. from the Departments of Public Health and Reproductive Endocrinology and Oncology at the same university. She also holds an adjunct position in Hokkaido University Center for Environmental and Health Sciences. Sharon’s research interests include correlates of HPV vaccine acceptance in parents of Japanese girls, attitudes to HPV self-sampling in cervical cancer screening non-attenders and comparative research on cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination programmes in the UK, Japan and Australia. She is the principal investigator of two grants from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science; one focusing on attitudes to the HPV vaccine in Japanese mothers living in the UK and Australia and the other looking at using HPV self-sampling to both increase cervical cancer screening uptake in young Japanese woman and evaluate the impact of the national Japanese HPV vaccination programme. She also has an MA (Hons) in Modern Languages from the University of St Andrews and is presently undertaking an MPH at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing her research on health promotion and vaccine confidence.

Mark Kane
Mark A. Kane, MD, MPH, is a private consultant in Seattle, Washington, specializing in immunization implementation and policy.  Dr. Kane retired as Director of the Children’s Vaccine Program at PATH.  He also served on the founding Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the GAVI Working Group, and was the founding President of the Global Fund for Children’s Vaccines (later the GAVI Fund).  Dr. Kane has been a frequent member and Chair of GAVI Independent Review Committees.

Dr. Kane earned his medical degree at Penn State University, his pediatric training at Dartmouth Medical School, and his public health training from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Dr. Kane worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for 20 years.  The last 10 years of his CDC career was spent seconded to the World Health Organization in Geneva, where he worked in the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).  At WHO he was responsible for introducing Hepatitis B vaccine and other new vaccines into National Immunization Programs. He is currently working on the implementation of Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines and serves as a consultant to WHO and a number of other organizations in the public and private sector on immunization policy and vaccine development.

Emilie Karafillakis
Emilie is a research fellow for the Vaccine Confidence Project™. She has a background in public health, infectious disease control, and health systems and policies and holds a Masters degree in the Control of Infectious Diseases from LSHTM and a BSc in European Public Health from Maastricht University. Her work focuses on understanding determinants of vaccine hesitancy in European populations, including healthcare workers, and strategies to effectively address concerns about vaccination. She is involved on media monitoring and analysis of concerns about HPV vaccination. Emilie is also a PhD Candidate at the school – her research project focuses on the impact of post-factual societies on HPV vaccine confidence in France.

Huma Khawar
Based in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad, Huma Khawar has 30 years of well-rounded media experience; working as an independent journalist and consultant, contributing articles and features to newspapers and periodicals with special emphasis on women and children.

She has been working on advocacy and communication with international partners, multilateral and bi-lateral agencies and Pakistani media. She also imparts training to media and health workers on topics pertaining to Health and Environment.

Presently, Huma is working with Pakistan’s Immunization Programme on advocacy and communications to increase vaccine uptake and generate demand for immunization under consultancy with IVAC/JHU. 

Earlier, she led a pilot project to mobilize civil society organizations to raise awareness on immunization and maternal & child health under Gavi support. She holds a Master’s degree in Communication and a post-graduate from California State University, Fullerton, USA.

Scott La Montagne
Scott LaMontagne, PhD, MPH, FRSPH, CS, is an epidemiologist and project director for HPV vaccines and a program advisor to the typhoid conjugate vaccine team. Previously at PATH, he was manager in charge of the formative research and HPV vaccine demonstration projects in the HPV Vaccine: Evidence for Impact project, which vaccinated more than 65,000 girls in India, Peru, Uganda, and Vietnam. He has authored and co-authored numerous papers on the clinical and operational aspects of HPV vaccine delivery in developing countries; he is a recognized expert in HPV vaccine delivery and evaluation in low-resource settings and serves as a member of the Gavi global leadership team. Dr. LaMontagne holds an affiliate assistant professor position with the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington and has over 20 years of experience in infectious disease surveillance, operations and implementation research, public health program implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and project management for government and nongovernmental agencies at local, state, and national levels in developed and developing countries. He is a specialist in surveillance and epidemiology of human papillomavirus, Chlamydia trachomatis, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted infections. Dr. LaMontagne has a PhD from Middlesex University in London, England, and a master’s degree in public health from Yale University.

Kristine Macartney
Prof Kristine Macartney is the Deputy Director of the Australian National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS), a paediatric infectious diseases specialist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and Associate Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney. She is a co-editor of the Australian Immunisation Handbook and has research interests in viral vaccine preventable diseases, vaccine safety and policy-making.

Suleman Malik
Suleman Malik is currently working as C4D Specialist in the Immunization Unit, UNICEF HQs with focus on the Polio Endgame, HPV and strengthening routine immunization programmes. Suleman led C4D teams in Malawi and Kenya before joining the HQs from his most recent post as Chief of C4D in Myanmar. Over his last 17 years with UNICEF, Suleman supported the development of sev¬eral innovative communication initiatives that live on to this day, including gender equity programming in Pakistan, a holistic communication strategy for Child Survival and Development in East Africa, and a children-led edu-tainment initiative in Kenya to promote hand-washing, which has since been replicated in many countries.

Suleman is Co-Chair for Global IPV Communication Working Group and Global Advisory Group on IPC for Immunization Initiative and supports other related global work streams including IMG, Implementation Group, Switch Group and Routine Immunization.

Liesbeth Mollema
Dr. L. (Liesbeth) Mollema graduated in theoretical and mathematical biology (Wageningen University) and completed her PhD in quantitative veterinary epidemiology (Wageningen University). Since 2005 she works as researcher epidemiology of vaccine preventable diseases at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Her main focus is seroepidemiology (PIENTER) and research on attitude/intention to vaccinate and communication regarding the national immunisation program (NIP). Furthermore she is a member of the risk communication group within the RIVM.

Kim Mulholland
Kim Mulholland is an Australian paediatrician, trained at Melbourne University and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.  With post-graduate training in immunology, respiratory medicine and tropical medicine he joined the Medical Research Council Laboratories in 1989, where he developed a program of research covering all aspects of the problem of childhood pneumonia.  This included studies of the aetiology, clinical signs, and treatment of pneumonia cases, with particular reference to very young infants and malnourished children.  These studies guided WHO policy in the field and contributed to the development of the strategy of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), as well as guiding oxygen and antibiotic management for hospitalized children.  His Hib vaccine trials were the first to demonstrate the capacity of conjugate vaccines to prevent bacterial pneumonia, and paved the way for Hib vaccine introduction in Africa.  After six years in the Gambia he joined WHO where he oversaw the development of standardized methods for the evaluation of pneumonia vaccines in developing countries.  Since leaving WHO in 2000 he has continued to work in the pneumonia field with particular emphasis on vaccines.  He currently runs major field research programs in Vietnam, Fiji and Mongolia, with growing programs in Indonesia and Laos.  In Fiji his group established the burden of HPV related cancer, facilitated the introduction of Gardasil in 2008, with a donation from industry, and is currently involved in a formal impact evaluation including immunological studies of reduced dose schedules.  In Vietnam he leads, in collaboration with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi, and the Pasteur institute of Ho Chi Minh City a national study of HPV and HPV related cancer epidemiology.  In Mongolia he is involved in a small study to evaluate the impact of an aborted HPV introduction campaign.  He currently holds professorial appointments at the MCRI in Melbourne and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in UK.

Andrew Pollard
Andrew J Pollard, FRCPCH PhD FMedSci, is Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity at the University of Oxford (since 2001). His research includes the design, development and clinical evaluation of vaccines including those for meningococcal disease and enteric fever and leads studies using a human challenge model of (para)typhoid. He runs surveillance for invasive bacterial diseases and studies the impact of pneumococcal vaccines in children in Nepal and leads a project on burden and transmission of typhoid and co-leads typhoid vaccine impact studies at these sites. He has supervised 23 PhD students and his publications include over 400 manuscripts and books on various topics in paediatrics and infectious diseases. He chairs the UK Department of Health’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and the European Medicines Agency scientific advisory group on vaccines and is a member of WHO’s SAGE. He received the Bill Marshall award of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Disease (ESPID) in 2013 and the ESPID Distinguished Award for Education & Communication in 2015. He was elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016.

Jason Reifler
Jason Reifler (PhD, Duke University) is Professor of Political Science at the University of Exeter. His research interests include political psychology, political behavior, public opinion, and the use of experiments in political science. He has published extensively on correcting the factual mispercetions held by the public. As part of this work, he has examined correcting misperceptions about vaccines. His work also examines foreign policy attitudes and voting behavior. His book with Christopher Gelpi and Peter Feaver (Paying the Human Costs of War) was published by Princeton University Press. He has published 28 peer-reviewed articles in outlets such as Pediatrics, Vaccine, Medical Care, and the American Journal of Political Science. He serves on the editorial boards of Political Behavior, Electoral Studies, and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties.

David Ross
David Ross is a Medical Officer working on adolescent health research and guidelines within the World Health Organization’s Maternal, Newborn, Child & Adolescent Health Department in Geneva. Recently, he has led the preparation of the Global AA-HA! (Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents): Guidance to Support Country Implementation, which provides technical guidance to countries as they decide what to do in adolescent health and how to do it. He is also starting work towards guidelines on school health services and on multi-country studies on priority adolescent health research questions. With colleagues from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, he coordinates the joint LSHTM-WHO short course on adolescent health in low and middle-income countries in London each June. In the past, he was involved in studies related to the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccine in Tanzania.

William Schulz
Will is a research assistant for the Vaccine Confidence Project™, with an interdisciplinary background in politics, psychology, and public health. He holds an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College. His research interests include political psychology, international relations and development, public policy, medical anthropology, graphic design and science communication.

Chitra Subramaniam
Chitra Subramaniam, Co-founder of The New Minute (Bangalore, India) and Editorial Adviser for Republic TV (Mumbai, India) is one of India’s best known media personalities. She is a graduate of New Delhi and Stanford Universities.

Subramaniam has some three decades of experience working in media, communications and advocacy at the highest levels in India and Europe. She was Media Advisor to former Norwegian Prime Minister Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland’s campaign team for the post of Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO). Later she was Head of Policy Analysis and Communications for the Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), WHO’s Cabinet Project under Dr. Brundtland. She developed a multi-country, multi-purpose communications and advocacy strategy to underpin the political work of negotiating the world’s first health treaty The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) between 199 countries. This included a media campaign, another designed for civil society and the organisation of the first public hearings in the United Nations system. Subramaniam has received many awards for her work including India’s most prestigious journalism award. She is also the author of books, some of which are best sellers.

Geert Top
As the Flemish vaccination program manager, dr. Geert Top is responsible for the implementation of the vaccination policy in Flanders (northern part of Belgium). He is chairing the Flemish Vaccination Board, an operational structure with representatives of all kinds of vaccinators, that is dealing with the implementation of the vaccination program. Dr. Top obtained his MD degree in 1986. For a couple of years he worked in a primary health care project in Nicaragua. After having worked for some years as a GP in Belgium, he decided to choose for his actual job in Public Health. Since 2000 dr. Top is working at the coordination of infectious diseases control and vaccination. His main task is organising the vaccination program in Flanders.

Louisa Tribe
Louisa Tribe is Communications Lead for the Wellcome Trust’s vaccines, drug-resistant infections and research ecosystems in Africa and Asia portfolio. Recent work includes collaborating with partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WEF and Governments of Japan, Norway and Germany to design and deliver the launch campaign for CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations which aims to stop future epidemics by developing new vaccines) at Davos. Previously Associate Director at an environmental communications agency, Louisa has over 10 years’ experience working in communications and campaigns in the global health and sustainable development sectors. She is also a Trustee for LEAP India, a charity working to transform lives through education and Non-Executive Director for Pulse Arts, a not-for-profit delivering programmes in healthcare settings.

Palle Valentiner-Branth
During the last decade Palle Valentiner-Branth has been employed at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Statens Serum Institut and the last six years as Head of VPD & MRSA group. The responsibilities of the group include: Surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases and of the uptake of the vaccines given in the national vaccination program,, invasive bacterial diseases, MRSA, tuberculosis and vectorborne diseases. His main focus has been on vaccinology related studies and I have been involved in several studies related to HPV vaccination.

He has conducted large randomized controlled trials in Nepal and Guinea-Bissau: investigating interventions aiming to improve the case management of diarrhoea and pneumonia in children. Also a large cohort study was done in order to understand the natural history of colonization, clinical disease, and immunity associated with relevant enteropathogens.  These studies were done as part of his PhD thesis and post-doc employment.

Alex Vorsters

After his studies as Bioengineer at Free University of Brussels, 1989, Alex Vorsters followed a postgraduate course on Tropical Veterinary Medicine at Tropical Medicine Institute of Antwerp (ITG). From 1991 to 1994 he was linked as a researcher to the ITG. From 1991 to 1993 he worked in Porto-Novo, Benin, West-Africa. From 1994 to 2001 he was international product manager infectious diseases for a diagnostic company. Since 2001 he works as senior project coordinator and researcher at the University of Antwerp within the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination. This centre joined in 2007 the newly formed Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute. In 2016 he successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Feasibility of detection of HPV DNA in urine and its possible applicability as proxy to monitor the impact of HPV vaccination programs”.

Mitchell G. Weiss
Mitchell Weiss is a health social scientist and professor emeritus at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and University of Basel. His research group developed studies of social and cultural factors to better explain and promote acceptance and uptake of oral cholera and influenza vaccines, examining the role of communities, vaccinators and health policy determinants. The group has innovated methods and an approach to cultural epidemiology that harnesses synergies of medical anthropology and epidemiology. Work based on that approach has been contributing to global interests of cultural psychiatry, mental health and suicide prevention, and to behavioural aspects of infectious disease control.

His research and teaching is informed by field experience and academic partnerships over a period of more than three-and-a-half decades in India and other countries of Asia and Africa. At the Swiss TPH, he headed the Department of Public Health and Epidemiology for 12 years until 2010, promoting the interdisciplinary public health agenda, and he led a health social science research unit at the Institute.

Jan Paul Wilhelm
Jan Wilhelm, MD is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist, Former Advisor to the National Immunizations Program of the Chilean Ministry of Health, a Member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Chilean Infectious Diseases Society, and a Member of the Vaccines Pharmacovigilance Committee, National Institute of Health, Chile.

Gregory D. Zimet
Dr. Zimet is Professor of Pediatrics and Clinical Psychology in the Section of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine in the United States and is Co-Director of the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) Center for HPV Research.  He holds adjunct appointments in the Department of Epidemiology at the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health and in the Department of Family Health at the Indiana University School of Nursing. In addition, he is the immediate past-president of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. Dr. Zimet started studying attitudes about vaccines in the mid-1990s.  Much of his research has involved the study of vaccine acceptance and refusal, with a primary focus over the past 15 years on behavioral and social determinants of HPV vaccination. His studies have focused on adolescents and young adults, parents of adolescents, and health care providers and include evaluations of vaccine communication intervention strategies. His HPV vaccine research has included collaborations with investigators across the United State, Canada, the U.K., Australia, the Netherlands, and Malaysia.


This event is organised by the Vaccine Confidence Project™ at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the HPV Prevention and Control Board at the University of Antwerp.





Recommended Reading

SM Garland, SK Kjaer, N Muñoz, SL Block, DR Brown, MJ DiNubile, BR Lindsay, BJ Kuter, G Perez, G Dominiak-Felden, AJ Saah, R Drury, R Das, C Velicer 2016. Clin. Inf. Dis. 63(4): 519-27.
Neal A. Halsey. 2017. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 6 (1): 3-8.
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