Individualism, acceptance and differentiation as attitude traits in the public's response to vaccination

Baruch Velan, Valentina Boyko, Liat Lerner-Geva, Arnona Ziv, Yaakov Yagar, Giora Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The attitude of the general public to vaccination was evaluated through a survey conducted on a representative sample of the Israeli population (n = 2,018), in which interviewees were requested to express their standpoints regarding five different vaccination programs. These included: pandemic influenza vaccination, seasonal influenza vaccination, travel vaccines, human papilloma virus vaccine and childhood vaccinations. Analysis of the responses reveals three major attitude traits: (a) acceptance, characterized by the opinion that targets should be vaccinated; (b) individualism, characterized by the opinion that vaccination should be left to personal choice; and (c) differentiation, characterized by the tendency to express different attitudes when addressing different vaccination programs. Interestingly, direct opposition to vaccination was found to be a minor attitude trait in this survey. Groups within the population could be defined according to their tendency to assume these different attitudes as acceptors, judicious-acceptors, differentiators, soft-individualists, and hard-individualists. These groups expressed different standpoints on all five vaccination programs as well as on other health recommendations, such as screening for early detection of cancer. Attitude traits could be also correlated, to a certain extent, with actual compliance with vaccination programs. Interestingly, attitudes to vaccination were not correlated with social profiles related to income or education, although younger individuals exhibited higher degrees of individualism and differentiation. Taken together, all this is in accordance with the current social settings, underlining the individual's tendency for critical evaluation and self-stirring. This should be taken into consideration by health authorities involved in vaccination programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1272-1282
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Acceptance
  • Attitude
  • Childhood vaccination
  • Differentiation
  • H1N1
  • HPV
  • Individualism
  • Influenza
  • Travel vaccines

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