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To talk better about vaccines, we should talk less about vaccines

19 Aug, 2018
F Gesualdo, N Zamperini, A E Tozzi, Source: VACCINE

The Internet and social networks are a fertile ground for the decrease in vaccine confidence. This has caused an increase in vaccine hesitancy and has jeopardized vaccinationprograms in some contexts [1]. A wide variety of communication strategies have been studied and implemented to fight the decrease in vaccine confidence and maintain high vaccination coverage. In such strategies, scientists have often been the only actors.

In the present opinion article, we look at vaccine communication and compare it to commercial advertising. We analyze the characteristics of the typical communication on vaccines, and explain why it can be described as product communication and defensive communication. We explore how defensive communication (e.g. debunking and fact checking) may not be effective, according to recent studies on information dynamics on the web. We suggest that new models for vaccine communication should be explored and experimentally evaluated, focusing on messages that highlight the positive values of immunizations – thus evoking positive emotions. Finally, we advise the adoption of communication techniques that integrate different promotional methods and we suggest the involvement of dedicated multidisciplinary teams to improve the effectiveness of vaccine communication.

This entry was posted on Sunday, August 19th, 2018 at 8:09 am and is filed under Literature.

Videos Video archive

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.

Prof Larson discusses vaccine hesitancy and its implications across global health in this webinar.

Literature Literature archive

HC Maltezou, C Ledda, V Rapisarda 2019 Vaccine Vol 37(32): 4419-4658
Sabahelzain MM et al. 2019 PLoS ONE VOl 14 (6): e0213882.
KT Paul, K Loer 2019 Journal of Public Health Policy Volume 40, Issue 2
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The Vaccine Knowledge Project at the Oxford Vaccine Group