People can't be educated into vaccinations, but behavioral nudges help, study findsApril 10, 20182 min read
Despite years of public health campaigns encouraging people to be vaccinated and showing the health benefits both to individuals and communities, a recent study has shown that using indirect behavioral nudges - “actions like automatically scheduled vaccination appointments, phone and text reminders from doctors' offices and monetary incentives from employers” – may be more effective in increasing vaccination rates.
Numerous advances in vaccines over the last century that have demonstrated positive results, and warnings of impending outbreaks in the face of falling vaccination rates, have not been enough to significantly quell pervasive vaccine hesitancy, where sentiments often result in the detrimental delaying of vaccination.
This article makes clear that strategies thought to be constructive, including providing people with as much information as possible about vaccination, can have the opposite effect, instead provoking more uncertainty. Instead, the study has found that setting concrete goals regarding upcoming vaccinations has a higher chance of resulting in positive behavior change.
What this article makes clear is the need to continue studying behavior modification as a means of increasing vaccination uptake rates in conjunction with education, and the need to refine public health education on vaccination to provide to-the-point information in the hopes of mitigating vaccine hesitancy.
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) believes in advocating for increasing vaccination uptake rates to preserve functional ability, particularly among older people and at-risk groups. As such, the life course approach to vaccination, including examination of vaccination behaviors, will be well-represented at the IFA 14th Global Conference, happening 8-10 August 2018 in Toronto, Canada.
To find out more about vaccination and approaches to increasing uptake rates contact IFA experts.
Dr. Maria De Lourdes Garcia-Garcia Deputy Director
Dr. Garcia-Garcia has been interested in research in infectious diseases particularly tuberculosis and vaccine preventable diseases
Prof. Roman Prymula Director
Dr. Prymula is involved in various research activities in preventive medicine, including clinical development of new vaccines