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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.

Literature Literature archive

Baalen, S. van. 2018 Research Ethics 14(4), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1177/1747016117750312
Lutz CS, Carr W, Cohn A, Rodriguez L. 2018 Vaccine Volume 36: 7445–7455

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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