Confidence Commentary: Blog archive

Global Girl Gang : Social media networks and the HPV vaccine

Heidi Larson | 18 Feb, 2018

If there is one time of life when emotional ups and downs are particularly steep—with roller-coaster highs and lows, risky behaviour, and attention seeking at an all-time high—it’s adolescence. It is an exciting, scary, and vulnerable time. Many cultures around the world recognise this liminal and transformative time with initiation rites to mark the passage from childhood to adulthood. Heads are shaved, genitals cut, tests of courage and strength performed, and ceremonies held to mark sexual maturity, reproduction, and changing roles in family and society…. 

Teenage social networks are increasingly created online with intimacies, sensitivities, and experiences shared across the globe in search of like-minded friends. Sometimes these new media offer a space for friendship and sharing, but they have also opened the gates for the viral spread of panic, such as around HPV vaccine risks. These stories are a growing narrative co-created and posted by the girls and circulating globally that fuel a social amplification of risk and anxiety. 

The impact of this growing trend of globally shared personal testimonies, risk perceptions, and vaccine critiques is no longer fringe…Read more 

Full article published in The Lancet. 10 February 2018


From the Center for Vaccine Ethics & Policy
Vaccines and Global Health: The Week in Review

Literature Literature archive

GM Bryden, M Browne, et al. 2018 Vaccine Vol36,(9): 1227-1234
MGrandahl , S C Paek, et al 2018  PLoS ONE 13(2): e0193054
Heidi J Larson. 2018. The Lancet 391(10120), p527–528.

Videos Video archive

Key figures share their perspectives on a controversy that led to the suspension of Ebola vaccine clinical trials in Ghana.

Drs. Heidi Larson and Pauline Paterson of the Vaccine Confidence Project join episode 50 of the Public Health United podcast with Nina Martin, November 2017.

Drs. Larson and Paterson join a discussion on vaccine confidence at Hong Kong University.  September, 2015.

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