All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Barbara Van Der Pol

Advisory Committee Members

Kevin Fontaine

Susan L Davies

Linda M Niccolai

Edgar Turner Overton

Gregory Zimet

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health


Introduction: Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI) worldwide and it disproportionally affects young people and those living in the Southern United States. If left untreated chlamydia infections can lead to complications such as infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease. Currently, chlamydia vaccines are being development. A successful chlamydia immunization program would require adolescents to be vaccinated before engagement in sexual activity and would require parental approval and recommendations from healthcare providers. Therefore, this project aims to explore parent and healthcare provider opinions about chlamydia vaccines to identify potential barriers and facilitators to uptake. Because the COVID-19 pandemic began while developing this project there was a great need to understand parent opinions about a vaccine for adolescents. Therefore, this study also incorporates beliefs about COVID-19 adolescent vaccines. Methods: Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with parents of adolescents and healthcare providers. Topics included chlamydia and COVID-19 awareness, opinions on whether a chlamydia vaccine should be developed, willingness to vaccinate adolescents, and vaccine characteristics including efficacy, cost, and boosters. Interviews were con-ducted and recorded on a web-conferencing platform. Transcripts were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. iv Results: Between January and July 2021, interviews were completed with 21 parents and 22 healthcare providers. The first manuscript describes parents’ attitudes about an adolescent chlamydia vaccine. The third manuscript describes healthcare provider opinions on chlamydia adolescent vaccines. The second manuscript describes parents’ opinions about COVID-19 vaccines compared to HPV vaccines. Because both COVID-19 and HPV vac-cines can prevent serious illness, it is important to identify how beliefs might differ be-tween these vaccines and identify strategies that were successful in promoting uptake. Conclusion: The results from this study will help to improve knowledge about parent and healthcare provider opinions about adolescent vaccines and how to better promote vaccinations before vaccines are available and once, they are available to the public. For ex-ample, we found news coverage about COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccination helped to improve vaccine confidence among parents. Therefore, using media to disseminate chlamydia vaccine information could be beneficial and promote uptake.



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