Understanding the interplay of factors informing vaccination behavior in three Canadian provinces

 Abstract

Arguably, the two most critical components in any response to a pandemic are effective risk communication and the rapid development of a vaccine. Despite the roll-out of a publicly-funded H1N1 vaccine program across the country, less than half of all Canadians were vaccinated during the 2009–10 pandemic. Using focus group data, this study examined vaccinating behaviors, the impact of public health messaging, and the public’s attitudes toward H1N1 and the H1N1 vaccine in three Canadian provinces. Drawing on vaccine risk communication literature, a framework was devised to identify and analyze the factors related to vaccine uptake and vaccine refusal. The most predictive factor for H1N1 vaccine uptake was a prior history of vaccinating against seasonal influenza. Other important factors included barriers to immunizing (access issues) and an individual’s perception of serious risk from contracting H1N1. Although critical gaps in the public’s understanding of influenza infections were identified, together with misinformation about vaccination effectiveness and safety, these factors were less frequently reported to be the core factors influencing an individual’s decision to vaccinate.

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Pages
1477 - 1484
doi
10.4161/hv.24427
Type
Research Paper
Group
Licensed vaccines
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Understanding the interplay of factors informing vaccination behavior in three Canadian provinces