False beliefs about MMR vaccine found to influence acceptance of Zika vaccine: Study finds spillover effect from misbeliefs about MMR vaccine and autism : Science Daily


People’s willingness to use a Zika vaccine when it’s available will be influenced by how they weigh the risks associated with the disease and the vaccine, but also by their misconceptions about other vaccines, a new study has found.

While a Zika vaccine is in development, the study by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania examined factors that will affect the eventual acceptance or rejection of such a vaccine.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health, found that people’s erroneous beliefs about an association between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism were a predictor of people’s lessened intention to get a Zika vaccine. The study also found that people’s perceptions of the severity of the Zika virus as well as their general belief in the power of science to solve problems increased their intention to get the vaccine.

“When a new disease arises, people who lack understanding of the new threat may extrapolate from their knowledge of other diseases,” said Yotam Ophir, a Ph.D. candidate at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication who co-authored the study with APPC Director Kathleen Hall Jamieson. “We found that the misbelief about the MMR vaccine’s association with autism was more influential on the decision of whether to get vaccinated for Zika than even perceptions of Zika itself, which is worrisome, especially in light of the persistence of that misinformation.”

 

Source: False beliefs about MMR vaccine found to influence acceptance of Zika vaccine: Study finds spillover effect from misbeliefs about MMR vaccine and autism : Science Daily

Zika Virus

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