A Multiple Streams analysis of the decisions to fund gender-neutral HPV vaccination in Canada

Preventive Medicine
Volume 100, Pages 1-298 (July 2017)

Review Articles
A Multiple Streams analysis of the decisions to fund gender-neutral HPV vaccination in Canada
Review Article
Pages 123-131
Gilla K. Shapiro, Juliet Guichon, Gillian Prue, Samara Perez, Zeev Rosberger
In Canada, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is licensed and recommended for females and males. Although all Canadian jurisdictions fund school-based HPV vaccine programs for girls, only six jurisdictions fund school-based HPV vaccination for boys. The research aimed to analyze the factors that underpin government decisions to fund HPV vaccine for boys using a theoretical policy model, Kingdon’s Multiple Streams framework. This approach assesses policy development by examining three concurrent, but independent, streams that guide analysis: Problem Stream, Policy Stream, and Politics Stream. Analysis from the Problem Stream highlights that males are affected by HPV-related diseases and are involved in transmitting HPV infection to their sexual partners. Policy Stream analysis makes clear that while the inclusion of males in HPV vaccine programs is suitable, equitable, and acceptable; there is debate regarding cost-effectiveness. Politics Stream analysis identifies the perspectives of six different stakeholder groups and highlights the contribution of government officials at the provincial and territorial level. Kingdon’s Multiple Streams framework helps clarify the opportunities and barriers for HPV vaccine policy change. This analysis identified that the interpretation of cost-effectiveness models and advocacy of stakeholders such as citizen-advocates and HPV-affected politicians have been particularly important in galvanizing policy change.