On 12 November 2021, after a stagnation of 8.5 years, Japan decided to resume proactive recommendations for HPV vaccines. However, it is not known how the public reacted to the resumption of proactive recommendations for HPV vaccines, which are key elements in health communication that promote HPV vaccination. This study aimed to capture discussions on HPV vaccination on Twitter and to identify user characteristics, sentiments, discussed themes and their potential reach before and after 12 November 2021, when the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare’s decision to resume proactive recommendation for HPV vaccines was first reported by the media in Japan. This study conducted a content analysis of tweets related to HPV vaccines posted on 11 November and 12 November 2021. Tweets were coded in terms of user characteristics, sentiments (i.e. positive, negative and neutral) and themes. Reach was measured by the number of retweets, likes and followers. A total of 3623 tweets were identified. The results showed that approximately 50% of health professionals and researchers tweeted neutral content about HPV vaccines. The most frequently discussed theme was the safety and side effects of HPV vaccines, which was accompanied by mainly negative sentiments. Although health professionals and researchers are influential on Twitter, half of them tweeted neutrally about HPV vaccines. Influential professionals, such as health professionals and researchers, are expected to disseminate accurate information to correct misinformation and recommend HPV vaccination on Twitter to overcome the HPV vaccination crisis, which is characterized by the low vaccination rates.

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