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What type of vaccine-denier are you?
About the author: 

What sort of vaccine denier are you (assuming you are one)? According to new research, you fall into one of four camps and the antidote is anything from a chat with a rational person who 'knows' the worth of vaccination-ie, your doctor-to a cash reward for vaccinating your child

What sort of vaccine denier are you (assuming you are one)? According to new research, you fall into one of four camps and the antidote is anything from a chat with a rational person who 'knows' the worth of vaccination-ie, your doctor-to a cash reward for vaccinating your child.

Strangely, the person who has had direct experience of vaccine damage or has made a rational decision not to vaccinate isn't covered.

The four types of vaccine-deniers are:

  • People who don't care about immunization
  • People who lack the willpower to vaccinate or can't be bothered travelling to a surgery to have their child vaccinated
  • People who have 'incorrect' knowledge about vaccines that distorts the risk of vaccination
  • People who overthink and weigh up the pros and cons of vaccination.

Each position is irrational or irresponsible, say researchers from Rutgers University in the US, because 'scientists are continuously improving vaccinations to stop the spread of disease'. Their analysis is designed to identify the types of vaccine-resisters and policies to counter them in order to increase the take-up of vaccines.

For the complacent, a cash reward or fine could motivate them, while SMS or phone reminders might get those lacking willpower into the surgery. Those with 'incorrect knowledge' should talk to "trustworthy sources", such as doctors, to debunk the vaccination 'myths', and the same goes for those who overthink the issue.

But those who doubt the safety of vaccines may be 'confident' about their beliefs, and will be the hardest to change, say the researchers.

(Source: Policy Insights from the Behavioural and Brain Sciences, 2015; 2: 61)


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