NCR researcher gives interview on HPV vaccination

Dr Mairead O’Connor, National Cancer Registry (NCR) and CERVIVA researcher recently gave an online interview with the Association for Vaccination Education in Germany on the importance of vaccines, and in particular, the importance of the HPV vaccine. Dr O’Connor has been involved in researching HPV infection for over 9 years. She is particularly interested in using behavioural science to understand people’s views around HPV infection and HPV vaccination. Her research projects include looking at people’s views on HPV and the HPV vaccine in the context of cervical cancer screening and head and neck cancers.

HPV (human papillomavirus) is a virus that can cause genital warts and cancers such as cervical cancer and some head and neck cancers. There are many types of HPV (e.g. type 16 and 18). Most people become infected with HPV at some point in their lives. However, persistent infection with HPV can lead to problems for some people. Around 70% of cervical cancers and precancerous cervical lesions are caused by HPV (types 16 and 18). Vaccination is the only way to prevent infection and hence is a vital tool in helping to prevent HPV cancers

The Association for Vaccination Education in Germany is a network of medical students, young physicians and experts of related disciplines, which was founded in 2017. The network is composed of students from the Medical Faculty of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, volunteers from various faculties throughout Germany and the US aswell as doctors and pharmacists. Activities of the network include promoting vaccination in schools through projects with young people who will soon be facing their first vaccination decision. They also provide online, comprehensive evidence-based information on vaccination. Dr O’Connor was invited to be interviewed by the network following her recent nomination as a Vaccine Champion by Vaccines Today, an online platform for discussing vaccines and vaccination. She was nominated for this award for her work around advocating the benefits of the HPV vaccine on social media.

To see the full interview with Dr O’Connor, click here.

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