Research published this week in The Lancet Infectious Diseases highlighted the importance of monitoring the media to analyse public concerns about vaccines. The researchers applied a surveillance system to gather 10380 vaccine-related media reports from 144 countries over the course of a year. The reports were analysed for overall positive or negative sentiment towards vaccines. The researchers found that:
- 69% contained positive or neutral content
- 31% contained negative content
- Of the negative reports:
- 24% were associated with impacts on vaccine programmes and disease outbreaks
- 21% with beliefs, awareness, and perceptions
- 16% with vaccine safety
- 16% with vaccine delivery programmes.
The researchers say that real-time monitoring and analysis of vaccine concerns over time and location could help immunisation programmes address specific public concerns. The study comes not long after a team of researchers tracked 318,379 pro- and anti-vaccine messages on the social networking website Twitter to show that anti-vaccination statements were socially contagious while pro-vaccination statements were not.
Are you concerned by these results? Do you think that having an understanding of how positive and negative views on vaccination can spread is important?
You can join our discussion on LinkedIn or leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what you think.
If you want to know more about strategy and innovation in vaccines, you might be interested in attending the World Vaccine Congress Asia 2013, 17-20 June 2013, Singapore. Want more from Vaccine Nation? Sign up to our newsletter for free here.