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Media representation of vaccine side effects and its impact on utilization of vaccination services in Vietnam

Authors Tran BX, Boggiano VL, Nguyen LH, Latkin CA, Nguyen HLT, Tran TT, Le HT, Vu TTM, Ho CSH, Ho RCM

Received 17 April 2018

Accepted for publication 7 July 2018

Published 6 September 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1717—1728


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Bach Xuan Tran,1–3 Victoria L Boggiano,4 Long Hoang Nguyen,5 Carl A Latkin,2 Huong Lan Thi Nguyen,6 Tung Thanh Tran,6 Huong Thi Le,1 Thuc Thi Minh Vu,7 Cyrus SH Ho,8 Roger CM Ho9

1Institute for Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi, Vietnam; 2Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA; 3Vietnam Young Physicians Association, Hanoi, Vietnam; 4Berkeley School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA; 5Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; 6Institute for Global Health Innovations, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam; 7Department of Immunology and Allergy, National Otolaryngology Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam; 8Department of Psychological Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore; 9Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Background: Media representation of vaccine side effects impacts the success of immunization programs globally. Exposure to the media can cause individuals to feel hesitant toward, or even refuse, vaccines. This study aimed to explore the impact of the media on beliefs and behaviors regarding vaccines and vaccine side effects in an urban clinic in Vietnam.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in an urban vaccination clinic in Hanoi, Vietnam from November 2015 to March 2016. The primary outcomes of this study were the decisions of Vietnamese subjects after hearing about adverse effects of immunizations (AEFIs) in the media. Socio-demographic characteristics as well as beliefs regarding vaccination were also investigated. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with subjects’ behaviors regarding vaccines.
Results: Among 429 subjects, 68.2% of them said they would be hesitant about receiving vaccines after hearing about AEFIs, while 12.4% of subjects said they would refuse vaccines altogether after hearing about AEFIs. Wealthy individuals (OR=0.41; 95% CI=0.19–0.88), and those who displayed trust in government-distributed vaccines (OR=0.20; 95% CI=0.06–0.72) were less likely to display hesitancy regarding vaccination. Receiving information from community health workers (OR=0.44; 95% CI=0.20–0.99) and their relatives, colleagues, and friends (OR=0.47; 95% CI=0.25–0.88) was negatively associated with vaccine hesitancy, but facilitated vaccine refusal after reading about AEFIs in the media (OR=3.12; 95% CI=1.10–8.90 and OR=3.75; 95% CI=1.56–9.02, respectively).
Conclusion: Our results reveal a significantly high rate of vaccine hesitancy and refusal among subjects living in an urban setting in Vietnam, after hearing about AEFIs in the media. Vietnam needs to develop accurate information systems in the media about immunizations, to foster increased trust between individuals, health care professionals, and the Vietnamese government.

Keywords: vaccination, Vietnam, media, mass media, health literacy

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