Social and Economic Impacts of Zika Infection in Brazil

This research, conducted in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, is a two-site study in Brazil, focussing on Recife, where Zika virus (ZIKV) is highly endemic, and Rio de Janeiro, where it has been less common up until now. Its mixed methods aim to assess the social and economic impacts of ZIKV at the individual (mother), family and societal level, by collecting quantitative, economic and qualitative data. The focus of the research is on Congenital Zika Syndrome (CZS), given the great expertise of the group in this area. Outputs will include scientific papers on the social and economic impacts of ZIKV at the individual and societal level and a stakeholder workshop.

Our team is responsible for leading the qualitative component of this project, which aims to understand the social and economic impacts of ZIKV among women, taking into consideration the social determinants of health and illness and the part they are playing in this epidemic. The research also aims to understand how risk perception, risk communication and anxieties fuelled by uncertainties are impacting women’s actions and interactions with health and social services. The research examines what narratives about present and future are being formed; what coping strategies are in place (individual and community); what sort of support (social, governmental, financial) is available to families and babies with CZS  and what additional support families with babies with CZS feel would help them. We will also explore where women, their families and health care workers at different levels of the system get there information about ZIKV and CZS and which sources of information that they trust.

Videos Video archive

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission joined forces to tackle the issue at the first global vaccination summit. Although many of them live in developing countries with poor access to vaccines, scientists are worried that anti-vaccination campaigners in the developed world are spreading misinformation on social media. So what’s the cure for their scepticism?

Emilie Karafillakis, research fellow for the Vaccine Confidence Project, speaks to France 24 about the rising anti-vaccination sentiment that is rising throughout Europe, especially in France where a recent study revealed 1 in 3 citizens believe vaccines are unsafe.

In this episode of Take as Directed, J. Stephen Morrison speaks with Dr. Heidi Larson on why vaccine confidence is currently in crisis, and how this has fueled outbreaks such as measles and the persistence of polio in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Literature Literature archive

L. Tavoschi, F. Quattrone, E. De Vita, P.L. Lopalco 2019 Vaccine Volume 37(49): 7201-7288
Biswal . 2019 NEJM DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1903869
Piot P, Larson HJ, O'Brian KL, et al 2019 NATURE Vol. 575, pages119–129.
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The Vaccine Knowledge Project at the Oxford Vaccine Group