Barriers to HPV vaccination in marginalized Roma communities in Slovakia

Daniela Filakovska Bobakova, Jana Plavnicka, Ingrid Urbancikova, Michael Edelstein, Danielle Jansen, Zuzana Dankulincova Veselska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Limited access to healthcare services leads to lower vaccination rates in marginalized Roma communities (MRCs). This study aimed to explore health system barriers to HPV vaccination faced by people from MRCs from multiple perspectives. Methods: The qualitative study was conducted in Slovakia in 2021/22 with 43 community members and health professionals. Data were analyzed using a combination of content analysis and consensual qualitative research. Results: A substantial barrier to vaccination is limited coverage of vaccination expenses for certain age categories by health insurance. Moreover, Slovakia faces a significant shortage of healthcare personnel, leading to work overload and a lack of capacity and motivation to address HPV vaccination. Impaired relationships between health care providers and people from MRCs lead to the avoidance of healthcare services, which contributes to insufficient delivery of information and a lack of awareness regarding HPV-related diseases and vaccination. Conclusion: Strengthening the capacities of health care providers, expanding the age group covered by health insurance and providing tailored information to people from MRCs are necessary prerequisites to increase the availability of HPV vaccination and enable people to make informed decisions about HPV vaccination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1239963
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Filakovska Bobakova, Plavnicka, Urbancikova, Edelstein, Jansen and Dankulincova Veselska.


  • HPV vaccination
  • access to health care
  • ethnic minority
  • health system barriers
  • marginalized Roma communities


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