Date of Award
Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
Childhood vaccination has been one of public health’s greatest achievements in its history. Just over the past 20 years, immunizations averted more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths in the US (Skinner, 2017). However, healthcare professionals, public health advocates, and researchers are still witnessing an unceasing tension between the anti-vaccination movement and pro-vaccination organizations. Since the invention of the first vaccines, individuals from various religious sects, cultural backgrounds, and ethnic groups have been questioning the efficacy of vaccines, the possible health risks and side effects that may be introduced, and the morality behind the act of vaccinating. With questionable rates of immunizations, some wellcontrolled and/or even eradicated diseases—measles in particular—have begun to resurface and affect millions across the nation. Ultimately, it is important for medical personnel, especially physicians, to raise awareness and properly educate their patients on vaccinations. Through a systematic analysis of the literature and scientific studies published from 2014 until the present day, this retrospective, qualitative study aims to determine why there is such an anti-vaccination rush and the factors causing it, investigate what physicians have been doing to combat the antivaccination sentiment, and offer a proposal that could be implemented to help providers improve health outcomes and better serve their patients by advocating for vaccination. In the final analysis, three key techniques that physicians should incorporate into their practice were examined: (1) study the ins and outs of childhood vaccinations and anti-vaccination responses, (2) execute practices of better communication about vaccines in order to build relationships based on trust, and (3) utilize personal social media platforms and reference parents to informational websites that accurately cover the pros and cons of vaccines.
Kim, Alisa C., "Understanding A Physician’s Role in Combating the Anti-Vaccination Movement: A Retrospective Analysis Using 2014-2019 Data" (2019). PCOM Capstone Projects. 3.