The Impact of Education on the Public Perception of Vaccines: EBV as Case Study
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe goal of this study was to assess the impact of education on the perception and receptivity of vaccines in a college population. Since novel vaccines are continually being introduced to the society, it is important to determine whether these immunizations will be readily accepted and successfully distributed to all individuals. Using the potential development of a vaccine for Epstein- Barr Virus (EBV) as a test case, a pre- and post-unit anonymous survey was given to 67 University of Arizona students during an educational unit on immunology and vaccines which I led. Data from the survey showed that education indeed impacted the students’ perceptions and receptivity to vaccines. While general coverage of the immunity, vaccines and EBV resulted in 59% willingness to receive the new EBV vaccine, further specific information about low US incidence of long-term health risks and lack of efficacy in asymptomatic patients resulted in a drop in willingness to 24%. Factors cited as influencing their decision included cost, availability and sufficient information. This data reinforces the importance of understanding how vaccines are perceived in society and how provision of information is critical in shaping a person’s point of view toward immunizations and impacting community health.
Degree ProgramHonors College