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Excellence in Communications - Payers/Policy Makers

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A Milestone in HPV Prevention: Gender Neutral Vaccination

by ENGINE MHP for MSD


Summary of work

A Milestone in HPV Prevention: Gender Neutral Vaccination

Every year HPV causes 7,000 cases of cancer in the UK, which claim the lives of men and women alike. The most dangerous strains of HPV are vaccine-preventable, yet for the last ten years only girls were included in the HPV national immunisation programme (NIP). This left up to 400,000 boys per year in the UK without direct protection.

MHP Communications and MSD collaborated with a range of stakeholders to successfully contest this inequality and persuade the Government to implement Gender Neutral Vaccination (GNV).

This involved launching a report on milestones in HPV prevention in Parliament to bring together stakeholders including third party organisations who in turn also campaigned for change. This launch was the catalyst for a sustained programme of Parliamentary activity that mounted pressure on the Government. It also had highly tangible outcomes, such as the report being cited in Parliament by the Life Sciences Minister, who ultimately played a key role in the decision.

The campaign began from a difficult position, where the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) relevant committee stated that it was probably not going to recommend the implementation of GNV, and DHSC said it would follow this advice. The community had one ‘last ditch’ attempt to encourage them to reverse this recommendation, before the issue would be most likely considered closed.  The eventual reversal was one of the most significant health policy U-turns of recent years.

Judges' comments

This is a very emotional topic and this campaign took a traditional vaccination campaign and turned it on its head by talking about gender equality. The outstanding result of this is that 400,000 boys will be receiving the vaccination, which will help cervical cancer immunity for girls and boys.


Highly commended

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Category Sponsors

Key dates

Entry deadline 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

Contact information:

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Entry and dinner booking enquiries:
Charlotte Garnade
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Tel: 01372 414253