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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy

In The Politics of Autism (forthcoming later this year from Rowman and Littlefield), I address the impact of the anti-vax movement on vaccine hesitancy and refusal.  At VaccineEve DubĂ©aDominique Gagnona, and Noni E. MacDonald have an article titled "Strategies Intended to Address Vaccine Hesitancy: Review of Published Reviews. "  An excerpt:
From the reviews, there is no strong evidence on which to recommend any specific intervention to address vaccine hesitancy/refusal. The reviewed studies included interventions with diverse content and approaches that were implemented in different settings and targeted various populations. The number of interventions similar enough to be grouped was often low and insufficient to demonstrate effectiveness using recognised validation criteria [28]. In addition, many of the reviewed studies were conducted in the United States and few were from low- and middle-income countries, further limiting the generalisability of the findings. The studies at low risk of bias were mostly single-component interventions (often educational interventions), which are less challenging to evaluate than multi-component interventions or interventions aiming to change determinants that are difficult to measure (such as social norms). Finally, few studies included in the reviews used vaccine uptake or on-time vaccination as the outcome and even fewer studies were directly targeting vaccine-hesitant individuals. While acknowledging these caveats, the findings indicate that reminders and recall for patients and health-care providers are effective tools to improve vaccine uptake among various groups and in different settings [12], [23] and [26]. However, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of reminders and recalls for vaccine-hesitant individuals [29] and [30].