Vaccine Hesitancy: The Growing Parent–Provider Divide

-Asia Pacific Media Educator

In a world dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the search for a vaccine seems the only solution before any semblance of normalcy can be restored. However, in the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of people who have refused vaccines that can immunize them against deadly diseases. The World Health Organization has even declared vaccine hesitancy as one of the top ten major threats to global health. So why do some individuals and/or mostly parents refuse to vaccinate their children against deadly diseases? Finding the answers to such behavior seems very important in the present scenario and that is the question that the researchers, Angshuman KashyapSangeeta Shrivastava, and Pradeep Krishnatray seeks answers to their research. In their article, ‘Vaccine Hesitancy: The Growing Parent–Provider Divide’, the authors' review and summarize themes in the research literature published in the last few years to understand and explain this phenomenon. 

They identify 10 reasons for people’s reluctance for vaccination: parental concerns, perceived disease susceptibility, parent–provider relationship, government policies, the role of school authorities, weak interpersonal communication (IPC) skills of health workers, religious beliefs, the role of media, social media and information on vaccines, and lack of trust. Their review also categorizes parents who hesitate or refuse vaccination into four categories: obedient, ditherers, doubters and defiant. Finally, they summarize recommendations and steps that researchers and policymakers have made to stem the growing concerns regarding vaccine hesitancy.


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