Thomas Jefferson University Research Magazine



Too often, cultural, educational and demographic barriers hamper the public’s use of vaccines. Among the most prominent examples is the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV): roughly half of U.S. adolescents are not vaccinated and remain vulnerable to the virus and the cancers it causes.

“You’d have a hard time finding a parent who doesn't want to protect their child from cancer,” observes Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, associate professor of population science. “Still, many parents are missing an opportunity to protect their children from HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection and a leading cause of cancers.”

Dr. Leader is deeply engaged in developing and studying new approaches to increase HPV vaccination rates among high-risk populations. She and her colleagues recently completed an NIH-funded study on strategies to increase HPV vaccination rates among vulnerable populations in the Philadelphia region.

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