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      Vaccine hesitancy, vaccine refusal and the anti-vaccine movement: influence, impact and implications.

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          Despite being recognized as one of the most successful public health measures, vaccination is perceived as unsafe and unnecessary by a growing number of parents. Anti-vaccination movements have been implicated in lowered vaccine acceptance rates and in the increase in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks and epidemics. In this review, we will look at determinants of parental decision-making about vaccination and provide an overview of the history of anti-vaccination movements and its clinical impact.

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          Social Media Use in the United States: Implications for Health Communication

          Background Given the rapid changes in the communication landscape brought about by participative Internet use and social media, it is important to develop a better understanding of these technologies and their impact on health communication. The first step in this effort is to identify the characteristics of current social media users. Up-to-date reporting of current social media use will help monitor the growth of social media and inform health promotion/communication efforts aiming to effectively utilize social media. Objective The purpose of the study is to identify the sociodemographic and health-related factors associated with current adult social media users in the United States. Methods Data came from the 2007 iteration of the Health Information National Trends Study (HINTS, N = 7674). HINTS is a nationally representative cross-sectional survey on health-related communication trends and practices. Survey respondents who reported having accessed the Internet (N = 5078) were asked whether, over the past year, they had (1) participated in an online support group, (2) written in a blog, (3) visited a social networking site. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify predictors of each type of social media use. Results Approximately 69% of US adults reported having access to the Internet in 2007. Among Internet users, 5% participated in an online support group, 7% reported blogging, and 23% used a social networking site. Multivariate analysis found that younger age was the only significant predictor of blogging and social networking site participation; a statistically significant linear relationship was observed, with younger categories reporting more frequent use. Younger age, poorer subjective health, and a personal cancer experience predicted support group participation. In general, social media are penetrating the US population independent of education, race/ethnicity, or health care access. Conclusions Recent growth of social media is not uniformly distributed across age groups; therefore, health communication programs utilizing social media must first consider the age of the targeted population to help ensure that messages reach the intended audience. While racial/ethnic and health status–related disparities exist in Internet access, among those with Internet access, these characteristics do not affect social media use. This finding suggests that the new technologies, represented by social media, may be changing the communication pattern throughout the United States.
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            The influence of vaccine-critical websites on perceiving vaccination risks.

            This large-scale Internet-experiment tests whether vaccine-critical pages raise perceptions of the riskiness of vaccinations and alter vaccination intentions. We manipulated the information environment (vaccine-critical website, control, both) and the focus of search (on vaccination risks, omission risks, no focus). Our analyses reveal that accessing vaccine-critical websites for five to 10 minutes increases the perception of risk of vaccinating and decreases the perception of risk of omitting vaccinations as well as the intentions to vaccinate. In line with the 'risk-as-feelings' approach, the affect elicited by the vaccine-critical websites was positively related to changes in risk perception.
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              Parents with doubts about vaccines: which vaccines and reasons why.

              The goals were (1) to obtain national estimates of the proportions of parents with indicators of vaccine doubt, (2) to identify factors associated with those parents, compared with parents reporting no vaccine doubt indicators, (3) to identify the specific vaccines that prompted doubt and the reasons why, and (4) to describe the main reasons parents changed their minds about delaying or refusing a vaccine for their child. Data were from the National Immunization Survey (2003-2004). Groups included parents who ever got a vaccination for their child although they were not sure it was the best thing to do ("unsure"), delayed a vaccination for their child ("delayed"), or decided not to have their child get a vaccination ("refused"). A total of 3924 interviews were completed. Response rates were 57.9% in 2003 and 65.0% in 2004. Twenty-eight percent of parents responded yes to ever experiencing >or=1 of the outcome measures listed above. In separate analyses for each outcome measure, vaccine safety concern was a predictor for unsure, refused, and delayed parents. The largest proportions of unsure and refused parents chose varicella vaccine as the vaccine prompting their concern, whereas delayed parents most often reported "not a specific vaccine" as the vaccine prompting their concern. Most parents who delayed vaccines for their child did so for reasons related to their child's illness, unlike the unsure and refused parents. The largest proportion of parents who changed their minds about delaying or not getting a vaccination for their child listed "information or assurances from health care provider" as the main reason. Parents who exhibit doubts about immunizations are not all the same. This research suggests encouraging children's health care providers to solicit questions about vaccines, to establish a trusting relationship, and to provide appropriate educational materials to parents.

                Author and article information

                Expert Rev Vaccines
                Expert review of vaccines
                Jan 2015
                : 14
                : 1
                [1 ] Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Québec, QC, Canada.

                anti-vaccination,parents,vaccination decisions,vaccine hesitancy,vaccine refusal


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