Why do parents who usually vaccinate their children hesitate or refuse? General good vs. individual risk: Journal of Risk Research: Vol 19, No 4

This study examines vaccination hesitancy or refusal following the 2013 polio outbreak in Israel, based on two theoretical models. The first is Sandman’s theoretical model, which holds that risk perception is comprised of hazard plus outrage. The second model is the affect heuristic that explains the risk/benefit confounding. It aims to expose the barriers that inhibited parental compliance with OPV vaccination for their children. The study employed mixed methods – a questionnaire survey (n = 197) and content analysis of parents’ discussions in blogs, Internet sites, and Facebook pages (n = 2499). The findings indicate that some parents who normally give their children routine vaccinations decided not to give them OPV due to lack of faith in the health system, concerns about vaccine safety and reasons specific to the polio outbreak in Israel.

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