Increased vaccine hesitancy presents challenges to public health and undermines efforts to eradicate diseases such as measles, rubella, and polio. The decline is partly attributed to misconceptions that are shared on social media, such as the debunked association between vaccines and autism. Perhaps, more damaging to vaccine uptake are cases where trusted mainstream media run stories that exaggerate the risks associated with vaccines. It is important to understand the underlying causes of vaccine refusal, because these may be prevented, or countered, in a timely manner by educational campaigns. In this article, we develop a dynamic model of vaccine compliance that can help pinpoint events that disrupted vaccine compliance. We apply the framework to Danish HPV vaccine data, which experienced a sharp decline in compliance following the broadcast of a controversial TV documentary, and we show that media coverage significantly predicts vaccine uptake.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: 05 Jul 2019.
- Fake news
- Public health
- Score-driven model
- Vaccine uptake