Do I vaccinate her, yes or no? This is the question asked by the parents of girls between the ages of 11 and 14 who, according to the official vaccination calendar of many Western countries, administer the three doses of the vaccine against HPV. Although the vaccine is included in the official calendars, approving all safety protocols of the regulatory agencies, uncertainty and doubt regarding its safety and side effects has been socially disseminated through the media and social networks.
Campañas Institucionales en Salud Pública: El caso de la vacuna contra el virus VPH, the new book coordinated by the lecturer of Journalism of the University of Valencia, Carolina Moreno, presents the arguments for and against immunisation, trying to give visibility to social actors who are usually underrepresented in the public sphere as the ones affected by vaccination or groups that reject universal immunisation.
Through fieldwork, conducted over four years, the testimonies of doctors, politicians, journalists and those affected by the HPV vaccine have been staged, which have shown the polarisation of the speech around a vaccine whose cost effectiveness is questionable, because of its high price and low rates of incidence of cervical cancer in Spain.
The book is formed by eight research projects developed within the framework of the project “Analysis of institutional campaigns in the case of the human papillomavirus vaccination” (CSO2011-25810):
- Chapter 1: Emilia Lopera, researcher at the Centre for Environmental and Technological Energy Research (CIEMAT), analyses seven years (2007-2013) of news coverage of the vaccine in the Spanish press, also highlighting the different frasmings used by the media to address this issue.
- Chapter 2: Emilia Lopera together with Irene Díaz, researcher of the Science Social Studies Group of the University of Oviedo, analyse the discourse generated in the Spanish political sphere at the time of implantation of the HPV vaccine.
- Chapter 3: Nursing professors from the University of Valencia, study interventions that were made from the Autonomous Communities to implement the vaccination. They analyse the posters, brochures and polyptychs that were used for the vaccination campaign.
- Chapter 4: Ramón Camaño and Elena Martí delve into the opinion about the HPV vaccine among nursing students of the Valencian universities. The attitude and information shown by these sensitised students with the subject is valued.
- Chapter 5: Marlín Téllez, researcher of COLCIENCIAS, analyses the controversy over the use of the HPV vaccine in El Carmen de Bolívar (Colombia), specifically, the cases that occurred during 2014.
- Chapter 6: Iria Fernández, doctor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the Galician Health Service, analyses the speech generated on YouTube about the HPV vaccine. She studies the image generated from the audiovisual flow that there is in this social network.
- Chapter 7: Javier Ordóñez, lecturer of History of Science at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and Carolina Moreno analyse the discourse of girls affected by the side effects of the HPV effects. They complement the study by also analysing the testimony of two mothers of affected girls, one of them being the president of the Spanish Association of People Affected by the HPV vaccine.
- Chapter 8: Carolina Moreno analyses the polyphony of arguments, points of view and opinions of experts in the health sector about the decision to implement the HPV vaccine in the official calendar. To do this, she analyses seven semi-structured interviews conducted between 2013 and 2015, some of these testimonies are included in the chapter, available to the reader.
The book Campañas Institucionales en Salud Pública: El caso de la vacuna contra el virus VPH offers a polyphonic vision of the different actors and factors that have intervened in the formation of public opinion on the possible effects and adequacy of the implementation of the HPV vaccine in the Spanish case.